IPL 2020 most likely to be held in the UAE: Chairman Brijesh Patel
Indian Premier League (IPL) Governing Council Chairman Brijesh Patel on Tuesday issued a statement to news agency PTI in regard to the cash-rich sporting event’s thirteenth edition saying it will be a full-fledged tournament, which will most likely be held in the UAE. However, a decision on the tournament's future will be made only after a Governing Council meeting in a week or 10 days' time.
The postponement of the T20 World Cup on Monday has cleared the path for the IPL to be held with reports stating the tournament will be organized between September and early November. The T20 World Cup, scheduled for October-November, has been postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the International Cricket Council (ICC) announced on Monday evening.
IPL Governing Council chairman Brijesh Patel said, "The IPL GC will meet within a week or 10 days and all decisions (including final schedule) will be taken there. As of now, the plan is to have a full fledged IPL comprising 60 games and most likely in the UAE,". When queried about the challenges involved in organizing IPL 2020 under current circumstances of the coronavirus pandemic, Mr Patel said, "Just the operational side of it. Whether you do it here or outside, it doesn't matter (with no crowds)."
It is to be noted that the franchisees were already working on their plans for the IPL much before the ICC had come out with the announcement of the T20 World Cup's postponement. Considering a majority of the Indian players do not have access to grounds for training due to the COVID-19 pandemic, teams will now require a minimum of three to four weeks to get them ready before they enter the field. In regard to the foreign players, they will fly to the UAE directly from their respective countries. A team owner told PTI, "Our players will need at least three to four weeks of training, if not more. We will finalise all our plans once the BCCI announces the dates. It looks like the IPL will be in the UAE and we are ready for that,".
There is a lot of emphasis being laid on Indian players as the national team will be touring Australia right after the conclusion of IPL 2020 for a four-Test series. Cheteshwar Pujara and Hanuma Vihari, who are primarily Test match specialists, will likely begin training in a bio-secure environment at the Motera Stadium in Ahmedabad, which was recently renovated. Considering they are not going to be playing in the IPL, they shall be training along with a few fringe, substitute players and the Indian team's support staff while the tournament is being played.
There is also talk about the IPL commentary to happen from the comfort of the living room as work from home has become the new norm since the pandemic. Viewership of the tournament is also expected to create a record as it has been a while since the world has witnessed action-packed cricket, Kings XI Punjab co-owner Ness Wadia said sometime back.