The brand new season of twenty-twenty bonanza is almost here. IPL 2020 is ready to begin on 19th September. Due to the Coronavirus pandemic, a change in venue was needed. The BCCI has chosen UAE to host the 13th edition of IPL. Players of all franchises have arrived in the UAE already to serve a mandatory quarantine period. Amidst all chaos caused by the pandemic, an official schedule of the tournament is yet to be announced. The date of kick-off is fixed, so are the venues.
Clubs still await their players who are out currently representing their countries, England and Australia. The ongoing series between the two ends on 16th September. Players are expected to return on the following day. There are no clear guidelines regarding the quarantine period for Aussie and English players who will arrive on Sept 17. As per previous guidelines of the BCCI, a player must serve a quarantine period of 7 days and pass three COVID-19 tests. If things stand this way, more than 15 players will miss a few starting fixtures. It would be interesting to see if quarantine rules are ruled out for these players as part of the “travel bubble” arrangement.
One of the reasons why the official schedule is not announced yet might be the last moment fixtures changes following the white-ball series. The ongoing series between Australia and England will conclude on 16th September. Players will arrive the next day and might miss the first week of IPL due to quarantine. Under such circumstances, the BCCI will ensure that clubs that are highly dependent on key players of Australia and England do not play in the first 3-4 days.
Questions have been raised over the issue regarding a player getting tested positive for COVID-19. The BCCI says under such conditions, the player will serve a 14 days quarantine. Any player sharing the bio-bubble with an infected player would undergo a 6 days long quarantine period and will be tested thrice for the Coronavirus. It will be tough for any team to continue if players are tested positive for the coronavirus. However, the tournament will go on and altercations in the schedule will be made accordingly. There will be a “flexible” match schedule for the IPL 2020 so that fixtures can be postponed or preponed if needed.
Second week of IPL 2020 is very crucial for organisers
The second week of the Indian Premier League is always a tricky period. It goes on to play a major role in viewership statistics. The season always begins with a bang. However, fixtures in the second week are crucial for keeping the views hooked. By the third week, the global audience starts to grow again since the league games start to conclude. Organizers will need to schedule exciting second week fixtures to retain viewership.
“A thorough build-up to the IPL every year often results in the first week of the tournament being a hit and obviously getting lapped up by the viewers. The second week becomes important because the emphasis then is to ensure the same kind of enthusiasm remains, because from the third week onwards, teams are already starting to battle for the playoffs and the points table becomes a talking point.
“So, structuring the second week of the tournament while keeping flexibility in mind is necessary. The first schedule was prepared early this year keeping the March-April-May window in mind, but now with the change in destination and the months, there’s an effort to try and schedule as many double-headers from the second week of October onwards so that the afternoon matches are played in better temperatures,” said the sources.
We still await an official schedule and expect a change or two when the season goes underway. After a long pause in world cricket due to the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic, it is so nice to see the best of T-20 coming back. The players look eager to battle it out to get their hands on the coveted prize. An exciting season awaits.