Taking the IPL to the UAE would be quite a task logistically for the tournament organisers, but for BCCI Anti-Corruption Unit head Ajit Singh, the move will make monitoring the event “slightly easier” as it would be restricted to just three venues.
IPL 2020 is set to start in the UAE on September 19 and the final will be held on November 8 or November 10, with three venues – Dubai, Sharjah and Abu Dhabi hosting the 60 games over 51 days.
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“In the UAE, it will be slightly easier doing [monitoring ACU activity] as there are only three grounds compared to eight venues in India,” Singh told PTI.”That’s not an issue at all. Once the schedule comes, we will decide the workforce.”
In 2014, the UAE hosted a part of the IPL because of general elections in India.Singh said currently there are “eight ACU officers who are on BCCI payrolls”.
So, will that be enough for managing the work through 60 matches as well as keeping a tab on hotels? “It’s too early to comment on measures as we need to first check what kind of bio-security measures will be created,” Singh said. “We first need to see how things are taking shape there and we will deploy our men accordingly. In case, we need men, we will hire them.”
With the ICC headquartered in Dubai, the BCCI, if need be, can take help of the global body, which has a huge team of ACU officials, according to senior a BCCI official.
“If it is a private league that approaches ICC for hiring ACU officers and they agree to cover the event, then the league organisers bear the costs,” the official said.
The BCCI might need extra workforce considering that each team will have one dedicated Integrity Officer as per rules.
“It is the BCCI that will designate one Integrity Officer per team during the course of the IPL,” a senior franchise official said.” Now whether they will be a part of the bio-bubble (if created), we don’t know, but the Integrity Officer is completely their domain.”
Matches held in the UAE have previously been vulnerable to the impact of bookies and fixers, but the ACU head is quite confident that they can prevent wrongdoing.
“Whoever is involved (bookies/fixers) they are all inter-connected,” he said. If we have our sources here, they also know how these bookies operate. “If they get an information of this place, they will get an information of that place also. It’s not so much of an issue.”