The sporting and global events have started to gather the pace as COVID-19 cases are subsiding around the globe. The top football leagues like English Premier League, La Liga, Bundesliga and Serie A have concluded in the past week, and the continental showdown like Champions League and UEFA Europa League has also kicked off recently. On the other hand, in India, IPL 2020 is all set to follow the footsteps.
The cash-rich cricket tournament, Indian Premier League, is set to start from 19th September in UAE which is good news for the Indian sporting geeks.
The IPL Governing Council on August 2nd announced that the most followed T20 cricket event will be held in the desert nation with all the required safety protocols to protect the players from getting affected. The Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) outlines the plan of action including sanitized empty stands, players in bio-secure bubbles, social distancing in dressing rooms, electronic team sheets for toss, no sharing of the equipment’s, quarantining process of 7 days in case of Bio-Secure protocol breach and so on. BCCI is constantly working with UAE authorities and medical experts. The guidelines may be amended as and when necessary.
The Union Government’s nod is yet to be obtained, but Brijesh Patel, the Governing Council Chairman, is hopeful of receiving written approval in a few days. He said:
“The fans will enjoy the full tournament from 19th September to 8th November and further course of action will be discussed with the franchises in the Governing Council meeting.”
The IPL 2020 is planned to be held over 53 days with ten doubleheaders throughout the season. Sharjah, Dubai, and Abu Dhabi are the venues of the matches with 7:30 PM IST and 3:30 PM IST as the match timings.
IPL 2020 is beneficial for both franchises and the BCCI. The franchises will not be able to garner that ticket money but will at least receive money from their sponsors. In the case of BCCI, their project remains on the board with VIVO as a title sponsor.
There are also talks regarding the conduction of Women IPL during the 13th edition of the cash-rich league. Like that of last year, BCCI is planning to conduct Women’s IPL with three teams playing four matches during the play-off week. However, this might also affect the women cricketers like Smriti Mandhana, Veda Krishnamurthy, and Harmanpreet Kaur, who have contracts with Australian franchises. The BBL will be conducted during October and November, and those international players will be unavailable for Women’s IPL. Jhulan Goswami said:
“After a long time, we will be back on the cricket field and we are looking forward (to it) as a team. We would like to thank all BCCI officials. It’s great news for Indian cricket”.
IPL 2020 can be considered as a fresh breath of air for both cricketers and fans. Though very few fans might be allowed to watch IPL 2020 in the stadium, it is undoubtedly good news for all cricket fans.