IPL 2021 was suspended after 29 league stage matches due to positive COVID-19 test results in some of the franchises. The BCCI is looking for a window and alternate venues to host the remaining matches, with the UAE and England as the sought-after options.
During a discussion on his YouTube channel, Salman Butt picked the UAE as the best alternative to stage the remainder of IPL 2021.
"The first thing is what are the options available. You look for a better option when you have two or three places, to see which one suits you better. I think India will opt for UAE if they have an option. But they know their position better," said Butt.
The former Pakistan skipper reasoned UAE's proximity to India works in its favor while England's crowded domestic and international schedule goes against it.
"Firstly, it is near and it might be to everyone's liking because in England their domestic season is running along with which there is the World Test Championship, their own series and then the inaugural Hundred tournament," added Butt.
The successful staging of IPL 2020 in the UAE last year will be another factor that could make it the BCCI's preferred choice to stage the remainder of this season's tournament.
"IPL has to happen in the top centers" - Salman Butt
Salman Butt pointed out that the pitches in the prominent grounds in England will be tired after the amount of cricket scheduled to be played on them.
"When you have so much cricketing activity, it will obviously be there on their big centers. And if IPL has to fit in there, it will also happen in those top centers. At times, these pitches and grounds get worn out after so much use," said Butt.
The 36-year-old concluded by stating that tired pitches will not be conducive for an event like the IPL and added that the weather in England might also not be favorable in September.
"A tournament like IPL where people like to see the big scores, where the quality of batting is at a different level. Also England is not a destination where you can play September onwards," signed off Butt.
However, the BCCI might find it difficult to host the remainder of IPL 2021 in UAE before the T20 World Cup. With the global event likely to be shifted from India to the Emirates, the ICC is unlikely to allow 31 IPL matches to be staged on the same venues ahead of the multi-nation tournament.