The UAE will host a number of matches in the 2014 Indian Premier League (IPL) which is set to start on April 16.
The UAE will host “at least 16 matches”, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) announced on Wednesday.
It said the move away from India was due to the general elections in country, scheduled to take place between April 7 and May 12.
Sanjay Patel, the BCCI secretary, said: “BCCI is very grateful to the Emirates Cricket Board, its chairman, HH Sheikh Nahayan Mabarak Al Nahayan, and the government of the UAE for their offer of wholehearted support to host the Pepsi IPL for this period.”
Patel said in a statement that for the period from May 1-12, the BCCI has approached the Ministry of Home Affairs to seek permission to play IPL matches in India in cities where the polling has concluded.
“BCCI is extremely conscious of the various complexities involved but hopes for a favourable consideration,” Patel said, adding that if it is not possible, IPL matches will be held in Bangladesh instead.
The statement said that from May 13, the remaining league matches plus the playoffs will be played in India.
“A detailed match schedule for the Pepsi IPL 2014 season will be sent out soon,” said Patel, but it was understood that Dubai, Sharjah and Abu Dhabi would host the matches held in the UAE.
It is the second time in seven seasons that the IPL has been forced to find alternative locations because of a clash with elections. In 2009 the whole tournament was played in South Africa.
The IPL is the world’s biggest T20 tournament and attracts many of the best cricketers. At this year’s auction, the most sought after players included India’s Yuvraj Singh, England’s Kevin Pietersen and Australian David Warner.
A total of 154 players were sold, out of which 50 were from overseas while a total of 178 players will feature in the Pepsi IPL 2014.