The BCCI and Emirates Cricket Board on Saturday signed a Memorandum of Understanding and hosting agreement to boost cricketing ties between the two countries, which could make UAE a second option for India’s home series if the surge in COVID-19 cases continues.

BCCI secretary Jay Shah tweeted about the same.

“I along with Vice Chairman of Emirates Cricket Board, Khalid Al Zarooni signed an MoU & Hosting agreement between @BCCI and @EmiratesCricket to boost the cricketing ties between our countries,” Shah wrote on his twitter handle.

Shah was joined by BCCI president Sourav Ganguly and treasurer Arun Dhumal.

While there was no official confirmation, but the agreement could mean that the IPL 2021, which is supposed to be held in next six months, could be again hosted in the UAE if the situation doesn’t improve in India.

“There are two major events. England home series for which having it in India is still the first option.

“However, if the COVID caseload during January remains same, I guess it’s only fair that BCCI keeps an option B ready which could be UAE. Also the next big issue is IPL 2021 which starts late March, early April,” a senior BCCI source told PTI on condition of anonymity.

Moved out of India due to a surge in COVID-19 cases, the 13th edition of the IPL will be held in the three venues of Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah in the UAE.

Starting Saturday with a clash between defending champions Mumbai Indians and runners-up Chennai Super Kings, the IPL will conclude on November 10.

Dubai will play host to 24 games, 20 matches will be hosted by Abu Dhabi while Sharjah will hold 12 games.

The dates and venues for the playoff stages will be released later