IPL 2020: All-Stars game confirmed ahead of season opener

There were also reports that the double headers may be scrapped, but BCCI president Sourav Ganguly said there will be five double headers.

Mumbai Indians captain Rohit Sharma (left) and Chennai Super Kings captain M.S. Dhoni at the toss in IPL 2019 final.   -  FILE PHOTO/K.R. DEEPAK

The Indian Premier League (IPL) group stage matches will start from 8pm. There were speculations that the matches in the 2020 edition — starting from March 29 — could begin at 7.30 pm. But in a meeting in New Delhi on Monday, the IPL Governing Council, headed by former India cricketer Brijesh Patel, decided to stick to the usual timings.

BCCI chief Sourav Ganguly confirmed the development. “There will be no change in the timing of IPL night games. It will start from 8 pm like earlier years,” Ganguly said after the meeting.

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There were also reports that the double headers may be scrapped, but Ganguly said there will be five double headers. However, it has been learned that there will be six double headers.

Final in Mumbai

The IPL final will be held in Mumbai and not in Ahmedabad, as it was reported earlier. There will be an All-Stars game ahead of the tournament, featuring top international players. The Governing Council had previously approved the idea of having a specialised umpire to monitor no-balls. Now, it has been decided that concussion substitute will also be introduced from this season.

Dravid meets Ganguly

Ahead of the Governing Council meeting, Ganguly also had a conversation with NCA director, Rahul Dravid. It has been learnt that discussions were held on the development of the NCA facilities.

Concussion sub, third umpire for no balls

The BCCI said that a concussion substitute and a third umpire for no balls would be introduced in the IPL 2020. In August 2019, new rules for concussion substitutes adopted by the International Cricket Council were used for the first time in Test cricket when Australia's Steve Smith was replaced by Marnus Labuschagne in the Ashes.

The introduction of a dedicated official for observing no-balls comes after several run-ins between players and officials with the standard of umpiring questioned.