Good News! for all the IPL lovers! The IPL will kick-start on September 19 & the finals of the tournament will be played on November 8th, Brijesh Patel, the IPL Governing Council Chairman announced on Friday.
The IPL Governing Council will meet next week to figure out the final details & approve the schedule as it is understood that the BCCI has informally intimated the franchises about the plan. “The GC will meet shortly but we have finalized the schedule. It will run from September 19 to November 8. We expect the government approval to come through. It is a full 51-day IPL,” Patel confirmed the news after the Governing Council reported the dates on Thursday.
The IPL has been made possible just because of the ICC’s decision to postpone the October-November T20 World Cup in Australia due to the COVID-19 pandemic due to which Australia expressed its inability to conduct the event. Patel further said that the Standard operating procedure to prevent COVID-19 is being prepared & the BCCI will formally write to the Emirates Cricket Board about the same.
“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 said.
There are three grounds available in the UAE i.e, Dubai Stadium, Sheikh Zayed Stadium & the Sharjah Ground. It is learnt that the BCCI will be renting the grounds of the ICC Academy for training of the teams.
The ICC Academy has two full-sized cricket grounds along with 38 pitches, 6 indoor pitches & a 5,700 square foot outdoor conditioning area along with physiotherapy medicine center. As per the current health protocol in Dubai, there is no need to be in quarantine if people are carrying a negative COVID-19 test report but if they are not, they will have to undergo a test.
There were speculations that the IPL will start from September 26, the BCCI decided to start it one week in advance to ensure that the Indian team’s tour of Australia is not hampered. “The Indian team will have a mandatory quarantine of 14 days as per the Australian government rules. A delay would have sent the plans haywire,” a BCCI official said on conditions of anonymity.
“The best part is that 51 days is not at all a curtailed period and broadcasters will be happy with full seven-week window,” he added. While the original schedule had five double-headers, Patel said the new one will feature around 12 double-headers which means two matches each on both Saturdays and Sundays.
The Indian Cricket team is all set to play a four match Test series against Australia starting December 3 in Brisbane after the IPL. It is also said that every team needs at least one month’s time to train & the IPL franchises will be leaving base by August 20 which gives them exactly four week’s time to prepare for the test series.