IPL 2020: The reason why BCCI is not ready with the schedule yet
Sources say that the IPL schedule will be out sometime this week.
Updated - Aug 24, 2020 11:34 am
The 13th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) is less than a month away now. The tournament is all set to get underway on September 19 even as all the teams have reached the United Arab Emirates and the players are also in quarantine. But the BCCI is yet to release the schedule officially which has left many perplexed. The main reason for the same seems to be the ongoing pandemic as the board is finding a way to keep the schedule dynamic.
There is still no clarity over the quarantine protocols for the players of England and Australia. The two teams will be involved in a bilateral series till September 16 and they will reach the UAE on the next day. According to the earlier protocols set by the BCCI, the players have to be in quarantine for seven days and test negative for COVID-19 thrice.
If that is the case, aroun 19 players from both the countries are likely to miss out on the first week of the IPL. However, speculations are being made that the quarantine may be relaxed for them as they will only be moving from one bubble to other.
“The first week of the IPL could possibly see the English and Australian players missing, because post the conclusion of the white-ball series in England, the players will land in the UAE only around September 17 or 18 following which a week’s quarantine will come into effect. So there is a possibility that matches in those first three or four days can be allotted to teams not majorly dependent on players flying over from the UK,” a source told Times of India.
Also, a player will have to stay in quarantine for 14 days if he is tested positive for COVID-19 during the tournament. The ones sharing the bio-bubble with him, will also go into quarantine for six days and go through three Coronavirus tests. “If that happens, can that team play on those six days? Possibly not. But the tournament will go on, so it’s necessary to work on the possibility of keeping a schedule flexible enough where matches can be brought forward and delayed, as and when necessary,” the source added.
Second week of IPL 2020 crucial for organisers
Moreover, the second week of every IPL season is considered extremely crucial in terms of viewership. While preparing the schedule, the organisers have to keep in mind that they keep the viewers glued to their TV sets in the second week as well. The numbers are high generally in the first week and since the third week as playoff qualification scenarios come into equation. Also, more double headers are likely to be scheduled from the second week of October.
“A thorough build-up to the IPL every year often results in the first week of the tournament being a hit and obviously getting lapped up by the viewers. The second week becomes important because the emphasis then is to ensure the same kind of enthusiasm remains, because from the third week onwards, teams are already starting to battle for the playoffs and the points table becomes a talking point.
“So, structuring the second week of the tournament while keeping flexibility in mind is necessary. The first schedule was prepared early this year keeping the March-April-May window in mind, but now with the change in destination and the months, there’s an effort to try and schedule as many double-headers from the second week of October onwards so that the afternoon matches are played in better temperatures,” sources close to the developments further said.