Weather conditions and COVID-19 spike in Abu Dhabi delaying release of IPL 2020 schedule

The board is deliberating over the double headers.

IPL 2018 BCCI Jammu and Kashmir
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IPL trophy. (Photo Source: Twitter)

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The 2020 Indian Premier League (IPL), after being postponed from March, is set to get underway on September 19 in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). However, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is yet to release the schedule for the T20 tournament. The delay might be due to the rise of COVID-19 cases and the different rules in Dubai and Abu Dhabi after the spike in cases.

Mumbai Indians (MI) and the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) are in Abu Dhabi and the BCCI is in talks with the UAE government to maintain utmost safety. Before going to Abu Dhabi, one has to go through mandatory rapid tests. It’s now been learned that the world’s richest cricket board is planning to host less matches in Abu Dhabi.

The weather conditions in the UAE is also making things difficult for the BCCI regarding release of the schedule as per reports in Sportstar. The board is deliberating over the double headers, bearing in mind the hot and humid conditions in the gulf country.

Players looking to heat used to the heat ahead of the IPL

“While the weather is pleasant in the evenings, in the afternoon, the temperature soars. So, efforts are being taken to ensure that we don’t have too many day games, at least in the first leg,” one of the BCCI veterans said.

The players have also shown concern over the hot weather conditions even after the sun sets around 7:30 pm. “We might have to play at least three-day games which will be hard. We have to get used to the heat, but looking forward to the training at the ICC Academy in Dubai,” a player mentioned.

Due to the travel restrictions and the bio-security bubble, the BCCI won’t be able to invite the state association officials for the inaugural ceremony and the final.

“While I am confident that we will be able to deliver a memorable tournament, I will be approaching the start of the tournament with a heavy heart as your absence would render the opening incomplete,” BCCI secretary Jay Shah wrote in a letter to the state units.

“I am hopeful that till the time we reach the playoff week, we would have more relaxations on travel and interactions, which would allow us to have you all travel to the UAE,” he added.