IPL 2020: Smaller squads a bone of contention

The strength of each squad could be up for discussion when the Indian Premier League's (IPL) Governing Council conducts its virtual meeting on Sunday.

IPL Trophy

An IPL team usually comprises about 25 players, 10-12 support staff and other non-playing staff and executives, but the squads will have to be pruned down this time around considering the current situation.   -  K. V. S. Giri

The Indian Premier League's (IPL) Governing Council will meet – virtually – on Sunday to finalise the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for the tournament and also decide on the number of players each team can have. 

Every IPL team, on a normal year, has 25 players, between 10 to 12 support staff and other executives. With the tournament moving to the UAE and the need for a bio-bubble to protect stakeholders from the COVID-19 pandemic might force the board to cap the total strength of each franchise.

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While there hasn’t been any official word from the BCCI, Sportstar understands that each team could be asked to keep a cap of around 40 - not more than 20 players and the rest would comprise support staff and other officials.

While some franchise officials told this publication that they would ideally want to take a bigger squad, keeping in mind the duration of the tournament and the injury factor, there are chances that they might have to cut down on the non-playing staff.

Senior franchise officials, who were part of the proceedings when the tournament was taken to the UAE in 2014, stated that during the trip to the Emirates, the staff strength was pruned.

Usually, during the tournament, the franchises release a lot of players in the middle of the season, if they are not close to selection in the playing eleven. “There are a lot of discussions, but we are yet to hear anything formally from the Board. So, once they decide on anything, we will consult with our team management and then take a call accordingly,” one of the franchise officials said.

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Speaking to Sportstar earlier, IPL Governing Council chairman, Brijesh Patel, had said that the Governing Council will ‘keep everything in mind’ before finalising the tournament guidelines. It is also reported that while social distancing norms will be maintained, each players will have to undergo four COVID-19 tests in a span of two weeks before the start of the tournament.

Most franchises want to reach the UAE by the second week of August to prepare for the tournament ‘well in advance’.

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