New Delhi: The BCCI brass is exploring the option of using the full window of the Indian Premier League by pushing the final back to 15 October in order to reduce the number of doubleheaders in the UAE's searing September heat.
As PTI had first reported, the tournament will start on Sunday, 19 September and while the final was tentatively planned for 10 October, the BCCI as well as the Emirates Cricket Board are mulling stretching the lucrative T20 event till 15 October.
"15 September to 15 October is the window. Initially, BCCI was thinking of having 10 doubleheaders. But, in the third and fourth week of September, having 10 afternoon matches can be physically exhausting for players in such a short window," a BCCI source told PTI on the condition of anonymity.
"So if 15 October, which is a Friday is zeroed in on, it's basically the start of the weekend in India and in Dubai, it's a holiday which will allow fans to come in and enjoy a high-profile game of cricket. It serves a dual purpose. Also, the number of doubleheaders could be reduced to five or six, instead of 10," the source said.
Currently, BCCI president Sourav Ganguly, vice-president Rajiv Shukla, acting CEO Hemang Amin, treasurer Arun Dhumal, joint secretary Jayesh George and IPL chairman Brijesh Patel are in the UAE to finalise the arrangements.
Secretary Jay Shah is back in India after a series of meetings with the Emirates Cricket Board officials and a recce of the venues.
The Indian team's last Test in England is in Manchester and if it goes the distance, then it will finish on 14 September. The next day, the Indian contingent of IPL players will be flown via a charter flight from Manchester to Dubai.
They might have to undergo a three-day hard quarantine in the UAE but that could be waived off since they will be entering from the UK bio-bubble.
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While the UAE were always the first back-up option, Oman's capital Muscat has been added as the fourth venue, apart from Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Sharjah, for the tournament that will start in the last week of October.
With his century, Conway became only the third non-English batsman to score a century on Test debut at Lord's.
The CPL is scheduled to get underway from 28 August with the final to be played on 19 September, while the remaining part of IPL is likely to be held from 18 September to 10 October, not leaving the players with any time to settle down.