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Indian Premier League 2020

New in IPL 2020: All-star match, expanded women’s league

by Wisden Staff 2 minute read

IPL 2020 will be preceded by an all-star fixture, featuring players from all the eight franchises, marking the first such game in the league’s 12-year history.

The decision to organise the match, which will take place on March 26, three days before the 2020 Indian Premier League season opener in Mumbai, was made at the tournament’s governing council meeting in New Delhi on Monday, January 26.

According to a report on ESPNcricinfo, the two teams competing in the fixture will be comprised of players from four franchises each, split by region. Franchises from northern and eastern India – Delhi Capitals, Kings XI Punjab, Rajasthan Royals and Kolkata Knight Riders – form one team, while the other will feature players from the four franchises based out of cities in southern and western India – Mumbai Indians, Chennai Super Kings, Royal Challengers Bangalore and Sunrisers Hyderabad.

While the IPL 2020 opener, and the final, will be played in Mumbai, home of the defending champions, no venue has been decided yet for the all-star encounter.

The idea for the all-star match is believed to have come from BCCI president Sourav Ganguly and IPL governing council chairman Brijesh Patel.

The all-star attraction will only be one of the exhibition matches this season, however. Building on the strides taken towards having a women’s IPL, the governing council has, for the third successive year, given the go ahead for women’s exhibition matches, this time with a fourth team added to the mix.

The women’s exhibition matches first started on an experimental basis in 2018, when national T20 captain Harmanpreet Kaur’s Supernovas took on Smriti Mandhana’s Trailblazers in a one-off encounter. The BCCI added a third team – Velocity, led by one-day captain Mithali Raj – to the fray in 2019, which saw four matches, as opposed to the solitary game in the preceding year. This time, the number of matches will be scaled up to seven, all of them scheduled to take place around the time of the IPL play-offs.

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