BCCI in talks before IPL-13 with Cricket South Africa for T20 series
The BCCI is working on exploring options with STAR, one of which is to hold a series against South Africa.
The Indian Premier League (IPL)'s 13th season is all but set to travel to the United Arab Emirates ( UAE), but the Indian Cricket Control Board (BCCI) is still considering playing a few international matches in the Middle East ahead of the T20 tour.
The BCCI and Cricket South Africa (CSA) are in talks to arrange a T20I series of three matches in the UAE. Nonetheless, such games are not part of the International Cricket Council (ICC)'s initial Future Tours Program (FTP).
In March this year, India and South Africa participated in a three-match T20 series but the series had to end prematurely due to the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic in India and around the world.
The BCCI had looked at a window for the IPL 2020 from September 26 to November 8, but according to a Mumbai Mirror article the STAR host broadcasters are not very content to forego the weekend of Diwali (November 14).
Until the IPL, the BCCI could arrange series against South Africa
As a result, the BCCI is working on options for talks with STAR, one of which is holding a series against South Africa. In line with STAR 's wishes, the board is also looking to launch the IPL on September 19, instead of September 26, to minimize evening matches.
The Mumbai Mirror article, however, added that IPL franchises may not be happy to release their Indian stars, so close to the tournament. IPL Chairman of the Governing Council, Brijesh Patel, said the matter would be dealt with shortly.
We will address everything at the meeting of the GC (Governing Council),' the Mumbai Mirror quoted Brijesh Patel as saying.
A Times of India article added that the three-match series between India and South Africa will be a 'catalyst' for STAR, who are also targeting the home broadcast rights of Cricket South Africa (CSA).
Leaks had emerged in May that India and South Africa are planning to play three T20Is in South Africa depending on the situation at COVID-19. On Tuesday, IPL governing council chairman Brijesh Patel announced that the tournament's 13th edition will be played in the UAE due to the COVID-19 situation in India.
While an official announcement from the board is yet to come, the BCCI is waiting for an approval from the Indian government before finalising the schedule. We have written to the government and are hoping for a reply soon. We will then meet,” Brijesh Patel told the Mumbai Mirror.
IPL chairman Brijesh Patel also confirmed that Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah will be the three main venues.