Brijesh Patel, the chairman of IPL, has confirmed that the 13th edition of the Indian Premier League will be a full-fledged tournament comprising of 60 matches. Also, he mentioned that the tournament is likely to be hosted in UAE.
The Governing Council will meet in a week or 10 days' time to plan its next course of action. Given that ICC postponed the T20 World Cup in Australia, scheduled for October-November, due to the COVID-19 pandemic; the path has been cleared for IPL to happen in September-November.
"The IPL GC will meet within a week or 10 days and all decisions (including the final schedule) will be taken there. As of now, the plan is to have a full-fledged IPL comprising 60 games and most likely in the UAE," IPL chairman Brijesh Patel told PTI.
"Just the operational side of it. Whether you do it here or outside, it doesn't matter (with no crowds),” Patel said when questioned about the challenges to conduct the tournament.
Indian players might need 3-4 weeks of practice to get back into playing mode, while foreign players are expected to fly in directly to UAE from their respective countries.
“Our players will need at least three to four weeks of training, if not more. We will finalize all our plans once the BCCI announces the dates. It looks like the IPL will be in the UAE and we are ready for that," a team owner told PTI.
The viewership is expected to be a record one with people craving for live cricket, something KXIP co-owner Ness Wadia has said.
There are, however, some questions hanging in front of IPL GC when they meet. First is the possibility of more doubleheaders given the cramped schedule. And the second being, need of a Standard Operating Procedure to IPL teams from the BCCI.
Also in question will be whether BCCI will compensate the franchises, as there is a possibility of no gate money. And whether IPL will follow South Africa’s 3TC’s example and have commentary done from the safety of home, as Aakash Chopra, Deep Dasgupta and Irfan Pathan did.
Work from home has become the norm amid the pandemic, therefore, there is a possibility that IPL commentary will happen from the comfort of the living room, a safer and cost-effective option.