Pending clearances from the Indian government, the 13th edition of the Indian Premier League, or IPL 2020, will take place in UAE from 19 September to 10 November 2020.
The IPL Government Council adjourned on Sunday to discuss the details and decided upon a 53-day tournament with 10 double headers. This will be the longest IPL in the history of all eight-team seasons.
Why is IPL 2020 played in September?
Earlier, there was uncertainty regarding this year’s IPL after the COVID-19 pandemic forced the officials to postpone the tournament indefinitely in late March. With the T20 World Cup moved to 2021, a window opened up for the IPL but with India seeing a rising number of coronavirus patients, the tournament was moved overseas where a part of one edition of the IPL was previously held in 2014.
What are the norms in place for IPL 2020?
- Timings and matches
The IPL 2020 will take place between 19 September and 10 November with 10 double headers, all on weekends, and night matches starting at 7.30 PM IST (6.00 PM UAE time) and afternoon matches at 3.30 PM IST (2.00 PM UAE time).
- Squad size
Franchises will have a maximum squad strength of 24 players. Sunrisers Hyderabad, Rajasthan Royals, and Kings XI Punjab have 25 players each and will probably seek clarity on the extra one player.
Teams will be allowed unlimited COVID-19 substitutions should an emergency arise. The squad size of 24 players should account for this and will mean that all 11 players could also be replaced if at all an unfortunate scenario unfolds.
- Women’s T20 Challenge
The Women’s IPL, popularly called the Women’s T20 Challenge, will take place alongside the IPL from 1 November to 10 November. The dates will clash with those of the Women’s Big Bash League which could see a lot of marquee players missing out on this tournament.
There is no confirmation yet on whether the stadiums will be filled during the IPL. It is likely that the first leg of the tournament at least will be played behind closed doors. The Emirates Cricket Board (ECB) had been keen to fill 30-50% of the stadium with the COVID-19 threat significantly reduced in the UAE.
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MS Dhoni’s return
The IPL 2020 was awaited for one more reason – MS Dhoni, who has not played professional cricket since July 2019. The Indian cricket board had said earlier that Dhoni’s participation at the T20 World Cup would depend on his form in the IPL.
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