IPL 2020 will be a 51-day tournament, running from September 19 to November 8: Brijesh Patel

IPL 2020 will be a 51-day tournament, running from September 19 to November 8: Brijesh Patel

The original schedule of the IPL 2020 had five double-headers. However, Patel confirmed that the news one will feature around 12 doubleheaders, with two matches each on both Saturdays and Sundays.

Kane Williamson & MS Dhoni
Chennai Super Kings captain MS Dhoni and Kane Williamson. (Photo by Surjeet Yadav/IANS)

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the BCCI, in order to avoid heavy losses, was eager to host the IPL in the latter part of the year. With T20 World Cup’s postponement by the ICC, the BCCI is all set to utilize the September-November window and shift the thirteenth edition of the IPL to a different country altogether– UAE.

IPL chairman Brijesh Patel, while confirming the feasibility of the much-awaited league, said on Friday that the IPL will start on September 19 in UAE, with the final being scheduled on November 8. The board has already intimated the franchises about the plan but the Governing Council will meet next week to take a final decision and prepare a roadmap of the tournament.

Ahead of the staging the tournament in UAE, the BCCI will also have to ask the government for a go-ahead. “The GC will meet shortly but we have finalised the schedule. It will run from September 19 to November 8. We expect government approval to come through. It is a full 51-day IPL,” confirmed Patel as quoted by The Times of India.

We are making SOP, it will be ready in few days: Brijesh Patel

Patel also revealed that the BCCI will formally write to the Emirates Cricket Board after preparing the Standard Operating Procedure to curb the COVID-19 risk over the course of the tournament.

“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 further said.

For hosting the league in UAE, there are three grounds available in the Middle East country–Dubai International Stadium, Sheikh Zayed Stadium and the Sharjah ground. According to reports, the BCCI will be renting the grounds of the ICC Academy for the players to train. After being away from the sport for a while now, it will take time for players to brace the field and catch their rhythm.

As per the current health protocol in Dubai, one doesn’t need to be in quarantine if he is carrying a COVID-19 negative test report. However, if he is not, he will have to undergo a test for the same.

The original schedule of the IPL 2020 had five double-headers. However, Patel confirmed that the news one will feature around 12 doubleheaders, with two matches each on both Saturdays and Sundays. Earlier, there were speculations about the IPL starting from September 26. However, with India’s tour of Australia in the pipeline, the BCCI decided to advance the IPL by a week so that India’s tour Down Under doesn’t get jeopardized.