The eagerly-awaited Indian Premier League will start on September 19 in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) with the final to be held on November 8, IPL Chairman Brijesh Patel told Press Trust of India (PTI) on Friday.
The IPL has been made possible by the International Cricket Council’s ( ICC) decision to postpone the October-November T20 World Cup in Australia owing to the COVID-19 pandemic due to which the host country expressed its inability to conduct the event.
Patel said that the Standard Operating Procedure to combat the COVID-19 threat is being prepared and the BCCI will formally write to the Emirates Cricket Board.
“We are making the SOP, and it will be ready in a few days. To allow crowd or not depends on the UAE government. Anyway, social distancing has to be maintained. We have left it for their government to decide on that. Will also be writing to the UAE board formally,” Patel said.
There are three grounds available in the UAE — Dubai International Stadium, Sheikh Zayed Stadium (Abu Dhabi) and the Sharjah ground. It is learnt that the BCCI will be renting the grounds of the ICC Academy for the training of the teams.
As per the current health protocol in Dubai, there is no need to be in quarantine if people are carrying a negative COVID-19 test report, but if they are not, they will have to undergo a test.
While there was speculation that the IPL will start from September 26, the BCCI decided to advance it by a week to ensure that the Indian team’s tour of Australia is not jeopardised.
“The Indian team will have a mandatory quarantine of 14 days as per the Australian government rules. A delay would have sent the plans haywire,” a BCCI official said on conditions of anonymity.
“The best part is that 51 days is not at all a curtailed period and broadcasters will be happy with full seven-week window,” he added. While the original schedule had five double-headers, Patel said the new one would feature around 12 double-headers which means two matches each on both Saturdays and Sundays.
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