UAE in the frame to host mini-IPL tournament as replacement for CLT20

The UAE could be in line to host a mini version of the IPL later this year as the BCCI look to replace the Champions League T20 tournament.

Chennai Super Kings captain MS Dhoni could be heading to the UAE with his side later in the year. Pawan Singh / The National
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The UAE could be in line to host a mini version of the Indian Premier League (IPL) later this year as the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) look to replace the Champions League T20 tournament.

According to report in the Indian Express, the new tournament will include the top four teams from this season's IPL who will play in a league before a knockout phase.

The motivation behind the new event is to replace the CLT20, which according to quotes in the Indian Express "was not serving any purpose."

“People weren’t attracted to it. We are looking at all possibilities of a substitute tournament to replace CLT20 and the initial idea is to have an IPL-2 so that Indian crowds could relate more to it,” the source is quoted as saying.

Given the UAE’s remarkable success in hosting the first half of the IPL 7 season, the country is reportedly the preferred location among the IPL franchises and BCCI alike. Additionally, the monsoon season in India means hosting a mini-tournament in September would be risky.

Despite featuring the best T20 sides from around the world, the CLT20 has struggled to capture the attention of cricket fans, with ratings progressively dropping.

The UAE has a fine track record in hosting top-class cricket events.

As well as IPL 7, where every match was a sell-out, the 2014 Under-19 ICC Cricket World Cup was held in the UAE as well as Pakistan series since 2009.