2020 has been a rather quiet year for the cricket fraternity. However, cricket schedules are slowly gaining momentum as the Indian Premier League gets decided to happen in UAE. The much-awaited IPL will begin on September 19.
Brijesh Patel, the IPL Chairman, confirmed the news and added that the final match is scheduled for November 8. The IPL Governing Council is all set to convene in a few days to discuss the tournament further. The BCCI has also approved the schedule and taken it up with the Emirates Cricket Board.
This decision comes after ICC postpones the T20 World Cup to next year. Australia was the host of the T20 World Cup this year. However, the COVID-19 pandemic situation rendered the host country unable to conduct any matches.
The UAE has three cricket grounds to offer to the Indian Premier League. The Sharjah stadium, the Sheikh Zayed Stadium, as well as the Dubai International Stadium, are the three official venues. IPL 2020 will be a complete 51-day tournament with a total of 60 matches.
The enthusiasm of Indian cricket fans is expected to be top-notch during the 7-week league.
BCCI and ECB discuss health protocols ahead of the IPL
The IPL Chairman has expressed his concern over the pandemic situation. He has informed the media that a Standard Operating Procedure for the tournament is underway. The BCCI, as well as IPL officials, are jointly working on the SOP.
The BCCI will also formally discuss health regulations with the ECB ahead of the popular league. India is still unclear as to whether the UAE will allow spectators or not. The UAE government will take the final decision.
The Dubai health protocol does not require teams to quarantine. However, all players and team officials need to have a negative COVID-19 report. They will also follow ‘social distancing’ norms at all times.
The BCCI will also rent the ICC Academy Grounds for teams’ training purposes. The ICC Academy consists of two grounds, six indoor pitches, 38 turf pitches as well as a physiotherapy medical center.
The teams will arrive sometime before the start of the tournament and will undergo necessary tests to determine their fitness. With the IPL getting closer on the calendar, players have already started training for the iconic tournament.
Players and teams gear up for the Indian Premier League
Indian and overseas players have already started practicing to regain their form ahead of the tournament. The IPL teams will leave for UAE sometime around August 20 so that they can have a month to prepare.
The Indian team will play a test series in Australia in December. The four-match series will start on December 3 in Brisbane, Australia. The Indians have to strictly quarantine for 14-days before the tournament owing to Australia’s health protocols.
Patel confirmed that the 2020 IPL season would have twelve double-headers instead of five. This will not pose any trouble to broadcasters since there will be two matches each during the weekend.
Players from Bangladesh and Sri Lanka might not make it to the IPL given their country’s clashing cricket schedule. Players from Australia and England might arrive a few days late since they would be playing a possible limited-over series.
The iconic IPL tournament is one of the highlights of Indian cricket. It generates close to $11 billion for the country’s economy. Players like Virat Kohli, Jos Butler, Pat Cummins, and Trent Boult are the stars to look out for at the league. The eight IPL teams will also announce their squads and changes in the upcoming weeks.
IPL is a set of emotions and a huge celebration for Indian cricket fans. It is an exhibition of 51 days of fun, competition, and exhilarating cricket.
The news of the Indian Premier League has brought smiles to the faces of players, fans as well as the nation in general. Indian fans are extremely excited. The broadcasters expect a massive online audience. OTT platforms like Hotstar are also getting ready to broadcast the league.
That said, fans can’t wait for the inaugural countdown, and well, they’re also curious to see if the defending champions, Mumbai Indians will retain the 2020 Cup.