The Indian Premier League (IPL 2020) is just 20 days away and the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has still not finalized the schedule for the IPL that starts form September 19 in the United Arab Emirates.
Reason – Dubai & Abu Dhabi both have separate protocols related to Covid-19. There are travel restrictions as well between the two cities. While entering Abu Dhabi, one has to undergo mandatory rapid tests. Only after a negative test one can cross the border.
Such strict procedures cannot work for the teams on a match-day. That is the reason BCCI is yet to declare the schedule for the IPL 2020.
InsideSport has learnt from the sources, now to overcome the local protocols – BCCI team in UAE is deliberating with the Emirates Cricket Board to divide the IPL 2020 into two separate legs so that traveling between the cities can be minimized.
At this stage out of total 56 Group Games in IPL 2020 –
– 21 will be played in Dubai
– 21 in Abu Dhabi
– 14 in Sharjah
Currently there are no restrictions to travel to Sharjah from Dubai. So BCCI may decide to play the entire first leg of IPL 2020 in Dubai & Sharjah.
The second leg may comprise of games only in AbuDhabi which is 130 kms from Dubai.
For the play-offs & finals teams can again return to Dubai.
The final decision in this regard will be taken with-in next 48 hours as IPL GC Chairman Brijesh Patel and Hemang Amin is due to meet various officials in UAE government. Post these meetings on Thursday, final course of action will be decided.
IPL 2020 : When will the IPL 2020 schedules finally get released ?
Currently with an exception of Mumbai Indians and Kolkata Knight Riders, 6 other IPL teams are based in Dubai. Both M.I & KKR have AbuDhabi as their base. In case BCCI decides to opt for games only in Dubai in the first leg, then both will be required to move their base to Dubai from AbuDhabi.
For now as per the info available with InsideSport, IPL GC Chairman is due to meet Emirates Cricket Board chief Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak on Thursday. Sheikh Nahyan is also the UAE’s minister of culture & youth development. Patel along with BCCI’s interim CEO Hemang Amin will try to resolve the inter-city protocol issue during this meeting.
BCCI will request some some relaxations on protocols for smooth travel of IPL teams between the cities. If that does not happen, BCCI will opt for the two separate legs for IPL 2020.
In any case, it is expected that the Indian board will release the schedule before the end of this week.
IPL 2020 : Hot & Humid weather also big concern before the schedule is released
Some of the players are concerned with the weather. The humidity doesn’t really drop in the evening. The wind is warm; just that the sun disappears around 7.30 pm. The IPL had decided on 10 afternoon matches during the 53-day tournament, which would start at 2pm local time (3.30pm IST).
To overcome this BCCI may push the timing of the games to 3.30PM local time i.e 5PM IST.