The 2020 Indian Premier League (IPL) will be played from September 19 to November 10, as confirmed by the IPL Governing Council on Sunday. The BCCI hasn’t yet received the Indian government’s approval to hold the tournament in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). However, governing council chairman Brijesh Patel hoped that the nod is forthcoming.
“Should receive in a couple of days,” Patel informed The Indian Express via a text message. He also mentioned that like every year, the Women’s T20 Challenge would be played this season as well; in the first week of November in UAE.
The IPL media advisory, released after the meeting via video conference, stated that the upcoming edition of the tournament will be played over 53 days in Dubai, Sharjah and Abu Dhabi “subject to necessary clearances from the Government of India”, and will have 10 afternoon matches starting at 3:30 pm India time.
NEWS: #VIVOIPL 2020 to commence on 19th September, final to be played on 10th November.
— IndianPremierLeague (@IPL) August 2, 2020
“VIVO IPL 2020 will be played from 19th September and the final will be played on 10th November 2020. The 53-day tournament will witness 10 afternoon matches starting at 15:30 IST while the evening matches will start at 19:30 IST,” the release stated.
A governing council member informed that the BCCI will issue the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for the tournament after receiving government clearance. The press release stated: “The Governing Council also discussed the comprehensive Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs), which will be finalised and published in due course, including the agencies to execute and deliver a bio-secure environment for safe and successful conduct of IPL 2020 Season.”
It added: “The Governing Council also reviewed the Player Regulations for replacement player for 2020 season.”
The IPL franchises are eagerly waiting to hear from the BCCI with regards to bio-security measures, squad strength, replacement players, travel for families and/or partners of the players etc. “So far, we haven’t heard anything from the BCCI. We are waiting to hear from them. We are planning to leave for UAE early, with an eye on having a camp there. We also have our medical protocols ready. But until we hear from the BCCI, we cannot finalise anything,” a CEO of an IPL franchise told this paper.
It is learnt that the BCCI will have a meeting with the franchises tentatively on August 4.
Women’s T20 Challenge to clash with Big Bash
Like every year, the Women’s T20 Challenge will be played this season alongside the IPL. Three teams will play four matches in UAE in the first week of November. “Women’s T20 Challenge will also take place in the UAE and will comprise three teams with four matches to be played during the IPL Playoff week,” stated the IPL media release.
The Women’s T20 Challenge, however, will clash with the Women’s Big Bash League in Australia, in October-November, and as the IPL governing council chairman Brijesh Patel informed, “Indian players will not be available for (Women’s) Big Bash.” Australian women’s team cricketer Alyssa Healy, meanwhile, posted a cryptic tweet: “So during the WBBL…. cool.”
Former India women’s team captain Jhulan Goswami welcomed the BCCI’s decision. “After a long time, we will be back on the cricket field and we are looking forward (to it) as a team. We would like to thank all BCCI officials. It’s great news for Indian cricket,” Jhulan told The Indian Express.
The Indian women’s team’s limited overs series in England in June was postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic and the T20 Challenge will allow the players to return to action after a long layoff. “This will also help our World Cup build-up and although we are going to play the T20 version (here), but we will get to play competitive matches,” Jhulan said. The ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup – 50-over format – is scheduled to be played in New Zealand next year.
The BCCI, it is learnt, is also planning a home series for the women’s team against South Africa in October.
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