The 13th season of the Indian Premier League (IPL) will be held in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) from 19 September. The title match will be played on 8 November. IPL chairman Brajesh Patel on Friday confirmed this to PTI.
The IPL Governing Council will meet next week to finalize the program and approve it. It is learned that the Cricket Board of India (BCCI) has conveyed its plan to the franchisees.
Patel said, the Governing Council will meet soon but we have decided the schedule. It will start from 19 September till 8 November. We hope to get the government’s approval. It will be a full 51-day IPL.
Patel said that the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) is being prepared to avoid the threat of Covid-19 pandemic and the BCCI will officially write to the Emirates Cricket Board.
Patel said, we are making SOP and it will be ready in a few days. Whether or not to allow viewers will depend on the United Arab Emirates (UAE) government. We have left the decision on this to the UAE government. Still, social distance has to be followed. We will also write to the UAE Board officially.
ICC will hire academy grounds to train teams
There are three grounds available in UAE which are Dubai International Stadium, Sheikh Zayed Stadium (Abu Dhabi) and Sharjah Ground. It is informed that the BCCI will hire the ICC Academy ground for training teams.
The ICC Academy has two full-size cricket grounds, as well as 38 turf pitches, six indoor pitches, 5700 square feet of outdoor conditioning area with physiotherapy and medical centres. According to the current health protocol in Dubai, if people are bringing their COVID-19 test report negative, then they do not have to live in isolation, but if it is not so, they will have to go through the investigation.
There was speculation that the IPL would start from 26 September but the BCCI has decided to start it a week earlier so that the Indian team’s Australian tour is not affected.
An official said on the condition of anonymity, that the Indian team will have to remain on segregation for 14 days upon arrival there as per the rules of the Government of Australia. It can cause trouble with delay.
He said the good thing about this 51-day program would be that two matches will be organized in a day. With the tournament running for seven weeks, we can stick to the original schedule of organizing two matches for five days.
Each team will need a month’s time to practice and in such a situation the franchisees will reach the venue by 20 August. This will give them four weeks time for preparation. The Indian team has to play a four-Test series in Australia, whose first match will be played in Brisbane from December 3.
The IPL was to be held from 29 March but was postponed indefinitely due to Coronavirus Pandemic and travel restrictions.