IPL 2020 Amid the Pandemic
The wait is finally going to be over as the 13th edition of IPL is all set to go into action from September. Yes, that is true BCCI is ready to take up a significant challenge. To conduct the IPL 2020 in these miserably tricky times. Sourav Ganguly (President of BCCI) had undertaken a lot of meetings with franchises and other essential people to finalize the fate of IPL 2020 as we all know that a lot of money and future careers of young cricketers were at stake. The Board came out with a unanimous decision to have the IPL.
The official confirmation regarding the same was delayed just because of ICC as BCCI was eyeing at the World T20 available window for a long time. Moreover, Cricket Australia had also said that they were not in an appropriate condition to be able to host the T20 World Cup. That statement was released by Cricket Australia way time back. But, ICC took a lot of time to release the official announcement of the postponement of the World Cup. Due, to which BCCI was unable to give out any formal words on the IPL 2020.
When & Where IPL 2020?
The IPL 2020 is all set to start on September 19, 2020, and end on November 10, 2020, in the UAE. Yes, the best part is a complete IPL is going to be conducted without any decline in the total number of matches. A total of 60 games would be played with a certain amount of afternoon matches too.
The first time in the history of Indian Premier League the Final would be played on a weekday, i.e., Tuesday. This is happening to reduce the number of doubleheaders. As UAE is way too hot during the afternoon and no one wants to take chances with the health of players. Moreover, the week is of Diwali as well, so BCCI intends to include that week.
As we know, India is not in a condition to host the 13th edition of IPL. Because of the continuously increasing numbers of COVID-19 infected people. Back in 2014, a part of IPL was shifted to the UAE. As the general elections which were being conducted in India at the same time. Due, to which also UAE is kind-of aware on how to handle the IPL. Moreover, the COVID-19 situation in the UAE is pretty much controlled. Not a COVID free nation yet but still it is a safe option.
Big Challenge for BCCI
There are tons of responsibility for BCCI regarding lots and lots of things. The list of taking action is very long and kind-of endless too. This is because it has to manage things with the franchise owners on the stay of players in the UAE. Also, how the charter planes would be arranged for the players to reach UAE because commercial aeroplanes can’t be trusted at this point. There are a lot of challenges for BCCI.
VIVO is Out
China’s Vivo won’t be the title sponsor of the season’s Indian Premier League. The BCCI has said, amid the growing consequences against Chinese firms in India. Smartphone manufacturer Vivo had taken the IPL sponsorship rights for 2018-2022 for almost 22 billion rupees ($293m). The Board of Control for Cricket in India and Vivo Mobile India Pvt Ltd Have Opted to suspend their Venture for Indian Premier League in 2020,” the Indian board said in a statement couple of days back.
Previously, an IPL governing council member told Reuters Vivo had retreated partially due to the weak industry environment because of this COVID-19 pandemic and partly because of widespread anti-China opinion in India after a border conflict. Vivo didn’t respond to a request for comment. Indian cricket board president Sourav Ganguly and IPL Chairman Brijesh Patel didn’t reply to messages and calls from Reuters.
The BCCI was intended to keep Vivo because it wouldn’t be simple to discover a new host in the present financial environment. The IPL governing council member, who requested to remain anonymous, told Reuters. Moreover, there’s growing pressure on Chinese firms in India after a border battle in June when 20 Indian soldiers had been killed.
IPL 2020 SOPs
Strict bio-secure bubble protocols to be followed! Now, What is A Bio-Secure Bubble?
The bio-secure bubble is intended to avoid the spread of coronavirus. With bio-secure bubbles for cricket games, the International Cricket Council (ICC) is planning to minimize the probability of transmission of this virus from one individual to another.
Squad Flight Arrangements
- Teams should have a minimum squad. They can have an unlimited number of replacements afterward (when needed) but to begin with, teams have to take not more than 24 players.
- A doctor would be mandatory in every squad. He/she will be a part of the bio-secure bubble and will travel along with the players at all times.
- None of the teams is allowed to fly to the UAE before August 20.
- Every team to have a different hotel/resort.
- Either the franchise should take over the complete hotel or get a separate entry and exit gate for the players.
- The bubble protocol needs to be followed very effectively.
Family of Players
- The decision of taking the families along with the players is up to the franchise.
- It can become challenging to keep the families inside the bio-secure bubble as they can’t stay with the team all the time.
- All team members to take two tests before taking the flight to the UAE.
- They can only fly out if both the tests come out to be negative.
- Players to test negative on arrival at the UAE. They undergo 7-day hotel quarantine after testing negative.
- If tested positive on arrival. Then a 2-week quarantine protocol to be followed plus two tests.
IPL Testing Protocol
- A total of three tests would be done while the players would remain in quarantine. Test 1 on day 1, test 2 on day three, and final test 3 on day 6.
- If all the test results come out to be negative, then on the 7th-day players can kickstart their training.
- A regular test on every 5th day(Friday) of the week. What if a player comes positive? Then two things can happen!
- Either he will go out of the bio-secure bubble.
- Or he will be isolated in one of the rooms of the hotel.
- An injured player can be taken to the hospital but in a rigorous bio-secure environment.
- Franchise to ensure that there is minimal interaction with outsiders during the hospital visit.