The 2020 editon of the Indian Premier League (IPL) has a tentative schedule but it is one that franchises and the BCCI’s broadcasting partner are yet to fully agree on.
According to a report in the Times of India, the BCCI has settled on September 26-November 8 as the tentative window for the IPL 2020. That would mean playing 60 games in 44 days.
However, franchises and broadcast partners Star have reservations about the schedule.
For their part, Star wants the tournament to be held a little later so that the final ends on Diwali (November 14) as as to generate maximum revenue with ads, particularly since the coronavirus pandemic has affected them financially.
For their part the BCCI are not keen on this schedule since the Indian cricket team have an important series away to Australia in December and the players will have to arrive in the country well before that date to undergo a period of quarantine.
“If the IPL concludes by November 8, the team can fly to Australia by the 10th, undergo Covid tests and start practice and warm-up matches so that the first Test can begin as scheduled,” a senior board official told TOI.
“Also, India might want to play a day-night warm-up game ahead of the proposed day-night Test, and that will add days to the schedule,” the official added.
There remains little clarity on other aspects of the tournament as well. BCCI president Sourav Ganguly has previously stated that they would like to host the tournament in India itself.
However, various reports state that UAE would be the likeliest destination for the tournament were it to go ahead.
UAE Favourites For Hosting IPL 2020:
The United Arab Emirates has emerged as the top contender to host India’s training camp along with Ahmedabad and Dharamsala being the other options discussed at the BCCI Apex Council meeting. With India’s COVID-19 caseload exceeding a million mark, UAE is favourite to host this edition of Indian Premier League which is scheduled to be held between end September and mid-November.
Indian cricketers, who have not played since March due to the COVID-19 pandemic, could well resume their training in Dubai, the likelihood of which will increase significantly if the UAE gets to host the cash-rich league.
The issue was discussed in the virtual Apex Council meeting on Friday but the final call will be taken by the IPL Governing Council.
“If the IPL is held in the UAE, then it only makes sense the Indian cricketers train there before the tournament. They have a good infrastructure in place. UAE is the most likely choice for the IPL with India getting increasingly unsafe (due to COVID-19),” a BCCI official told PTI on conditions of anonymity.
“The other likely options are training camp in either Dharamsala or Ahmedabad (at the renovated Motera Stadium) with a bio-bubble in place. But the cases continue to increase in India, so UAE will be the safest option,” the official added.
Besides UAE, Sri Lanka has also offered to host the IPL. The UAE partially staged the tournament in 2014 due to the general elections in India.