IPL 2020: Franchises will work together to ensure things are in place, says Ness Wadia

The eight franchises had a video conference to discuss the road ahead and after the meeting, KXIP co-owner, Ness Wadia said that the franchises are working towards making IPL 2020 successful.

Ness Wadia said that safety and security will be paramount for all the stakeholders.   -  PTI

No government clearance and lack of clarity over the title sponsor have thrown up few challenges for the Indian Premier League (IPL), scheduled to begin in the United Arab Emirates from September 19.

But on Wednesday, the eight franchises had a video conference to discuss the road ahead. And, after the long meeting, Kings XI Punjab’s co-owner, Ness Wadia, told Sportstar that the franchises will ‘work together’ to make the event successful.

“There was a discussion among franchises and most important thing is that the franchises are here to support the BCCI and we are going to work together and make sure (things fall in place),” Wadia said, making it clear that safety and security is paramount for all the stakeholders.

A couple of days ago, the franchises were issued a draft Standard Operating Procedure (SOP), which focused on maintaining the bio-bubble and went to the extent of suggesting teams to have their meetings outdoors to maintain social distancing.

IPL 2020: Vivo set to pull out as title sponsor  

However, that SOP is not final and the franchises may suggest changes before it is made official. “The SOPs are still work in progress. There is a draft which has come out. We must understand that we are in most difficult circumstances that the world has ever seen and therefore ordinary people need to get used to it and do the extraordinary,” Wadia said.

“A lot of things will happen in the next week or so. IPL was announced only a few days ago and I am sure everything will fall in place. All of us are used to adapting and adjusting, these are tough circumstances so they require meticulous planning and rigidity. You have to be 101 percent rigid in terms of protocol,” Wadia said.

Having been associated with the league since its inception in 2008, Wadia has seen the tournament being held abroad twice - in South Africa in 2009 and in the UAE in 2014 - and he is confident that the Board will take everything into consideration before finalising the SOPs and the schedule.

There is also no clarity on the title sponsors. While it has been learnt that Vivo and the BCCI could amicably part ways, there hasn’t been any official communication from either party.

“All these speculations about Vivo, sponsors are ridiculous. Any sponsor, any person who does not look at this as the most entertaining IPL in the history of the tournament will be totally wrong,” Wadia said.

In its Governing Council meeting on Sunday, the Board decided to wait for the government clearances before announcing the schedule and despite all the odds, the franchises are working round the clock to ensure that everything falls in place.

Quarantine rules

While Wadia did not specify the proceedings of the meeting, however, Sportstar understands that some of the franchises have suggested relaxing the quarantine rules for the players coming from the Caribbean Premier League and the Australia-England series, which is scheduled to end on September 15, four days before the IPL.

IPL 2020: Three COVID-19 tests within a week on arrival in UAE  

As per the current protocol, some of the players participating in those tournaments may end up missing out on the first few games. Moreover, the teams are likely to be flown to the UAE in small groups via chartered flights.