The 13th edition of the IPL will stage from September 19 to November 8 in the grounds of UAE. The schedule has been confirmed by the IPL governing Council Chairman, Brijesh Patel. Under this schedule about 60 matches will now be played in 51 days in contrary to 44 days window allotted earlier. However the reports of the Times of India suggested that the broadcasters, Star India is unhappy with the schedule of IPL.
The dates are confirmed but it will not be an easy task for the board to actually make IPL happen in the pandemic situation without thorough planning & plotting. It is expected that the players will be flying to the UAE by mid of August. One of the media sources in the BCCI said, “As of now, the players are spread out in different parts of the country and the world. How to bring them all together to one location and make them fly? These are plans that need to be thoroughly worked out. No sport anywhere in the world has ever shifted an entire tournament out of the country at the last minute. Indian cricket accomplished it in 2009. Now, add a pandemic to that exercise and see how big that responsibility becomes.”
The real challenge for the BCCI will actually start when the players & the support staff will land in the UAE. The BCCI will have to put a well-panned huge bio-secure bubble in place & this will be possible only with the help & co-operation of the authorities in UAE.
One of the reasons why UAE has been chosen for conducting IPL 2020 is that two grounds – in Abu Dhabi and Dubai – are in the outskirts of the city. Secondly, air travel can also be avoided. Third, the UAE government can be expected to extend full cooperation and has the experience of hosting the league back in 2014.
One of the Officials in the Franchises said during a chat with Times of India, ““Whatever we’re getting to know is mostly through media reports. This is scary. There are so many questions. How are the players going to fly? When? Are we supposed to do our own bookings? What about other operational procedures? These are not last-minute matters.”