The Indian Premier League Governing Council has laid all speculation to rest about the 13th season of the league.
IPL 2020 has been confirmed from September 19 to November 10 in the UAE. Among other important decision, it has been decided to continue with the Chinese sponsors and the Women’s T20 Challenger series (better known as Women’s IPL) has also been cleared.
FIRSTS FOR IPL
The Governing Council has also decided to address the concerns of the broadcaster. The final has been extended by two days to November 10, Sunday. It will be the first time in the 13 seasons of the IPL that the final will not be played on Sunday.
In another first for the IPL, the day matches will start at 3:30 pm (IST / 2:00 pm UAE time) and the prime time games will start 7:30 pm (IST / 6 pm UAE time).
GOVERNMENT NOD IN NEXT FEW DAYS
The Governing Council was informed that the Union Government in principal has cleared to move the league to the UAE, a formal nod will be received in the next couple of days.
The UAE was opted as the destination to stage the IPL after the Government had declined permission to host the league in India. “Mumbai and Gujarat were proposed as the States for staging the league in a bio secured bubble. ICC’s Garware Stadium, Wankhede Stadium and the DY Patil stadiums were the proposed venues for Mumbai; and Ahmedabad, Baroda and Rajkot for Gujarat,” a Governing Council member confirmed to SportzFront on condition of anonymity.
“The Government ruled out any possibility to stage the league in India this year due to a spike in the COVID-19 cases in the country. UAE has been picked as the venue in consultation with Government.
“The BCCI will get a formal confirmation from the Government in the next two to three days.”
DHUMAL, SHAH MISS MEETING
The meeting was attended “actively” by BCCI president Sourav Ganguly, whose term technically was over on July 27. He continues to be in the office as the BCCI has sought permission from the Supreme Court to allow him and secretary Jai Shah to complete three-year tenures in the board office. Shah’s term under the present BCCI constitution was over in June.
However, Shah and board treasure Arun Dhumal could not join the teleconference. Shah’s father, Union Home Minister Amit Shah, has tested positive for COVID-19 infection. Dhumal failed to make it due to a demise in close relation, the GC member said.
OTHER KEY DECISIONS
Match Venues: The matches will take place at three venues in the UAE – Dubai, Sharjah and Abu Dhabi.
Squad Strength and COVID-19 Replacement: In view of the abnormal circumstances due to COVID-19 pandemic, the squads will have a cap for up to 24 palyers. However, in the unfortunate circumstances of a player testing positive for novel coronavirus the teams will be allowed to summon replacements.
Players and franchisees travel: The player and support staff from India or overseas will be flown into the UAE via chartered flights and kept in a bio secure bubble.
Medical Staff: Top medical professional and hospitals will be signed for medical needs. “It was decided to allocate the best ever budgets for medical needs of the teams and the staff,” the GC member said.
Women’s T20 Challenge: Women’s T20 Challenge will also take place in the UAE and will comprise three teams with four matches to be played during the IPL Playoff week.
SOPs: The Governing Council also discussed the comprehensive Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs), which will be finalised and published in due course, including the agencies to execute and deliver a bio-secure environment for safe and successful conduct of IPL 2020 Season.
Double Headers: The 53-day tournament will witness 10-afternoon matches starting at 15:30 IST while the evening matches will start at 19:30 IST.
In yet another positive development for the league, the GC was informed that all the existing sponsors are staying with the IPL. The GC, which had to deliberate on the complex issue of the Chinese sponsors, has decided to retain all the brands.
The IPL GC Chairman Brijesh Patel and the IPL CEO Hemang Amin will now have a virtual meeting with all the IPL team owners. The GC will meet yet again to deliberate on the franchisees suggestions, if any.