Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, IPL series was put on hold. It was originally scheduled to start at the end of March, however, the unprecedented COVID-19 outbreak postponed the plan. But the good news is that IPL is set to begin on September 19. This was made possible by the ICC’s decision to postpone the October-November T20 World Cup in Australia. In the fit of COVID-19 pandemic, the host country expressed its inability to conduct the event.
The franchises have been intimated about the plan. Unlike other IPL seasons, this season will be held in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). This has happened for the second time that the IPL season is being conducted outside the country. The final match will take place on November 8.
The schedule has been finalised and the IPL is set to be conducted from September 19 to November 8. Furthermore, the Standard Operating Procedure to combat the COVID-19 threat is being prepared, for which the BCCI will formally write to the Emirates Cricket Board.
BCCI has stated that allowing crowd or not depends on the UAE government as social distancing will be practiced mandatory.
As far as the availability of grounds are concerned, Dubai International Stadium, Sheikh Zayed Stadium (Abu Dhabi) and the Sharjah ground are the ones where players will play whilst for the training purpose, BCCI will be renting the grounds of the ICC Academy.
The health protocol in Dubai states that there is no need to be in quarantine if people are carrying a negative COVID-19 test report. However, in case of the opposite, they will have to undergo a test.
Though there were speculations doing rounds that the IPL will start from September 26, the BCCI decided to advance it by a week as Indian team will tour Australia and the BCCI didn’t want to jeopardize it, for, as per the Australian government rules, the Indian team will have a mandatory quarantine of 14 days.
It is expected that franchises will be leaving base by August 20 as each and every team will need at least a month’s time to train.
Things are getting back to normal slowly and steadily. Even though the virus hasn’t stopped spewing its rage, the world is getting around this “new normal” and working things out. Sports have started to see their comeback, giving the players a sense of relief. This doesn’t mean the virus is over. Please do keep your masks put, go out only when necessary, and also maintain social distancing.