IPL 2020 to be played from September 19 to November 10

The Indian Government has provisionally granted permission for the Indian Premier League’s (IPL’s) 2020 edition to be rescheduled in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) due to COVID-19 outbreak.

The night matches will begin at 7.30 PM instead of the usual 8:00 pm start.   -  FILE PHOTO/PTI

The IPL governing council, after getting the provisional approval from the Indian government to host the Twenty20 League in UAE, has postponed the tournament final to November 10 to adhere to the broadcaster’s request.

Besides deciding to stage the first-ever weekday final, also coinciding with the Diwali celebration, the governing council decided to advance the start of evening matches from 8 p.m. to 7.30 p.m. While the squad size of all eight teams will be capped at 24 players per franchise, it was also decided to not allow spectators at any of the three venues - Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah - during the initial phase of the tournament. The council also didn't tinker with any of its sponsorship deals.

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While a statement issued by BCCI secretary Jay Shah stated that the governing council’s decision was “subject to necessary clearances” from the government, a governing council member revealed that the BCCI has got “verbal clearance” from the government.

“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,” the statement added.

Capping the squad size to 24 won’t affect the teams much since only three of the eight franchises - Kings XI Punjab, Rajasthan Royals and Sunrisers Hyderabad - have a squad size of 25, the maximum limit at the time of the auction.

Key Governing council decisions

  • IPL to be held in UAE from September 19 to November 10
  • Each team can carry a maximum of 24 cricketers
  • Evening matches to start at 7.30 p.m.
  • SOPs and fixtures to be announced later in the week
  • Women’s T20 Challenge to be held from November 1 to 10
  • Chinese sponsors to be retained for this edition at least

Chinese sponsors to stay

In the wake of the government’s supposed movement against Chinese entities in the aftermath of the last month’s standoff in the Galwan Valley, the BCCI had announced it will review IPL’s sponsorship deals. However, the governing council decided to “stick to the sponsors” citing lack of time to look for alternatives. Four of IPL’s major sponsors have investment from Chinese firms.

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