The pandemic-affected Indian Premier League is set to resume in the UAE on September 19, the Board of Control for Cricket in India announced on Sunday.
The world's most cricket lucrative league was suspended on May 4 after a number of players and team officials tested positive for Covid-19 despite being in bio-secure bubbles. Four months later, the T20 carnival is all set for resumption and will conclude right before the T20 World Cup kicks off in the Emirates.
"A total number of 31 matches will be played in the duration of 27 days," the BCCI said in a statement.
"The 14th season, which was postponed in May this year in the wake of the pandemic, will resume on September 19 in Dubai with a blockbuster clash between Chennai Super Kings and Mumbai Indians."
Under the revised schedule, a total of 13 matches will be played in Dubai, 10 in Sharjah and eight in Abu Dhabi. Dubai will host the final on October 15, two days before the Twenty20 World Cup gets under way.
There will be seven double headers to make up for the limited available time. The final game of the league stage will be played between Royal Challengers Bangalore and Delhi Capitals on October 8. The first qualifier will be in Dubai on October 10 with the eliminator and second qualifier to be held in Sharjah on October 11 and 13.
The 2020 IPL was also postponed and was held exclusively in the UAE, with Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Sharjah as host venues.
This means a bumper season for cricket in the UAE, with the IPL and then the T20 World Cup highlighting the importance of the country as a sporting destination.
UAE cricket administrators had earlier said they were “honoured” the country has been chosen to host the T20 World Cup.
The ICC decided to move the T20 showpiece event from India because of the effect of the coronavirus crisis in the country. Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Sharjah will host World Cup matches, while the Oman Cricket Academy in Al Amerat, near Muscat, will also stage games. The tournament will be played between October 17 and November 14.
The World T20 was originally meant to take place in Australia at the end of 2020 but it was called off as the pandemic swept across the globe causing widescale lockdowns.
It will be the first time a cricket World Cup has been staged entirely outside of the sport’s Test-playing elite nations.
Between the two competitions there will be in excess of 70 matches. That workload led the ICC to consider Oman as an additional venue.