The 13th edition of IPL is finally confirmed: After months of delay caused by the coronavirus pandemic, IPL 2020 is set to be held from September to November this year. Here’s what we know, and what we don’t.
IPL 2020: What’s the latest?
There’s more live cricket coming your way. The BCCI, on Sunday, confirmed that IPL 2020 will be staged from September 19 to November 10 in the United Arab Emirates, subject to necessary clearances from the Indian government.
IPL 2020: What do we know so far?
The tournament will be held across three venues, Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah, the same cities that hosted the first leg of IPL 2014. It’ll stretch across 53 days, making it the longest eight-team IPL edition. Matches are predominantly scheduled for the evening slot, with only 10 games in the afternoon.
Match timings have been adjusted to suit Indian audiences: The evening games start at 1930 IST, with the afternoon games beginning at 1530 IST.
The squads will be limited to 24 players per franchise, while unlimited Covid-19 substitutes will be allowed. Three franchises – Sunrisers Hyderabad, Kings XI Punjab and Rajasthan Royals – currently have squads of 25 each, while the other five franchises have squads of 24 or less.
Along with the IPL, another T20 tournament, the Women’s T20 Challenge, has also been announced. It is expected to be similar to the women’s tournaments held alongside the IPL over the last few years. It will be contested by three teams, playing four matches in all, and will be held alongside the play-offs of the men’s tournament.
IPL 2020: Will crowds be allowed?
The tournament will be held in a bio-secure environment, meaning, at least initially, it will be held behind closed doors. The Emirates Cricket Board, however, have shown interest in filling the stadiums to a limited degree.
The #IPL2020 is on 🔥
What do you make of the decision to hold it in the UAE? https://t.co/HKUTjD44nC
— Wisden India (@WisdenIndia) August 3, 2020
Mubashshir Usmani, the board’s secretary, told PTI: “For most events here, the number ranges from 30 to 50% capacity, we are looking at a similar number. We are hopeful of getting our government’s approval on that.”
IPL 2020: When do the teams depart?
The teams are expected to depart in the second half of August, but reports suggest that Chennai Super Kings are eyeing an early touchdown on August 10. However, a delay in confirming the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) could delay their departure for UAE.
The participation of South Africa players in the IPL continues to be in doubt, due to the prevailing lockdown in the country. Imran Tahir, for one, is available to join Chennai Super Kings, since he’d been staying in Pakistan for the last four months. Before that, however, he will participate in the Caribbean Premier League.
For Australian players, the schedule will clash with their domestic season, with the One-Day Cup and Sheffield Shield expected to run around the same time. The fixtures for those tournaments haven’t been confirmed yet.
A meeting with the franchises will be held to discuss the specifics of the tournament.