Indian cricket fans enjoy the cherish moment of a match. File photo
India's cricket board remains optimistic about playing the lucrative IPL later this year, a team official told AFP on Wednesday, as an extended national lockdown left the competition in limbo.
In line with other sports events worldwide, the 13th edition of the Indian Premier League, the world's richest Twenty20 tournament, had already been pushed back from its original start date of March 29.
Officially it was postponed until Wednesday but with India and much of the world in lockdown, preventing players from travelling and fans attending matches, the tournament remains on hold.
After India extended the lockdown on Tuesday until May 3, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) told the eight franchises that the tournament has been deferred indefinitely.
"Yes, they have informed us that the IPL stands suspended for the moment," a team official told AFP on condition of anonymity.
"However it is said that they will find a window in the later end of the year to do it."
Australian pace bowler Pat Cummins is the most expensive overseas star this year with Kolkata Knight Riders paying $2.17 million in the December auction for his services.
Former cricketers including England's Kevin Pietersen have suggested the glitzy tournament be shortened from its normal eight-week duration and played behind closed doors.
The Emirates Cricket Board (ECB) confirmed on Monday that they have received the official Letter of Intent from the BCCI to host the 2020 edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL).
New Zealand spinner Mitchell Santner has hailed the IPL as the best T20 tournament in the world, saying his stint with Chennai Super Kings (CSK) has helped him get better at his craft.
This is the first batch of the IPL teams, who have descended on the UAE. Other teams are scheduled to arrive over an extended weekend.
Dubai Events Security Committee has vowed to ensure highest levels of security for the final round of matches of the 2021 ICC Men's T20 World Cup which will be staged in the emirate.
The Indian team, which lifted the trophy, did not feature stalwart cricketers likes Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid and Sourav Ganguly.
Though Babar scored a half-century and Pakistan won the low-scoring warm-up game against the West Indies on Monday, the captain consumed 41 deliveries for his 50, while Rizwan struck his 13 off 17 balls and didn't score a single boundary.
The 17th edition of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship will be the first of back-to-back Rolex Series events in the UAE with tournaments in Abu Dhabi and Dubai part of the traditional ‘Desert Swing’ attracting golf’s leading players.