United Arab Emirates (UAE) seems to be fast emerging as a destination for cricket, Indian cricket that is. Not just this edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL), the talk is that even the next IPL could be staged at the desert centres. The probability of the England series taking place there early next year is also being discussed although the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is reportedly examining the option of creating bio-bubbles in Mumbai to host Joe Root & Co.

In this backdrop, there is buzz that even Cricket Australia (CA) is contemplating hosting India in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah because of the Coronavirus situation Down Under. However, a top CA official yesterday categorically ruled out that possibility. He has also informed this paper that the Australian board has obtained permissions to host India between November and January. The government’s permission was the biggest bottleneck the CA had been facing.

Mirror has learnt that with the borders opening up, the CA is planning to have four different venues for the Test series, a development that looked a far cry from the situation some time ago, with a CA official once even hinting at the possibility of having the India matches at fewer centres. It is further learnt one of the four centres will be the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG), which will get to host the traditional Boxing Day Test. What’s more, the CA is also contemplating allowing crowds. “All venues will have crowds. There may not be full houses, but we will allow fans inside the grounds,” the CA source told this paper. What is not clear so far is the schedule, more specifically that of the Pink Ball Test.

Logistics being prepared for India contingent

Meanwhile, the BCCI has collected passports of support staff and potential squad members to start the process for travel arrangements. The word is that all the members, once the selection is done, will assemble in Dubai to fly to Australia immediately after the IPL. A chartered flight is being organised.

All the support staff and players who are already not in the UAE for the IPL will be asked to reach Dubai by end of this month and a bubble will be created for them. The idea is to ensure that the quarantine period for the Indian contingent on arrival in Australia is not long.