Though the BCCI and the IPL GC have announced that the 13th edition of the tournament will be played in UAE from September 19- November 8, the franchises involved in the league are still clueless when it comes to many aspects of this year’s edition.
Franchises still haven't 'officially' heard from the BCCI on the matter and there is concern among them. And Times of India conversed with the franchises which aired some of their concerns with regards to IPL 2020 amidst the Coronavirus threat.
First of all, franchises say it’s already too late given that no date has been fixed for the IPL governing council meeting and they have not been informed by the BCCI officially or called them for any meeting. Because until everybody is on the same page, nothing is going to move.
The franchises are in the middle of renegotiations with their sponsors, who were brought on the board as per the original schedule of the IPL in March 2020. However, with this year's edition becoming a television-only event, to be played in October-November, outside of India, renegotiation of sponsorship deals are waiting to happen.
Each franchise is still awaiting the details regarding the revised schedule, timings, dates, and venues which have to be informed to the sponsors. Television exposure, prime-time consumption, and screen-time available for brands will alone demonstrate value and for that, franchises need to understand the scenario better.
With all 60 matches taking place in what is probably one of the biggest IPL windows (51 days), team owners expect revenue distribution from the central pool, including revenue from broadcast rights, to remain the same and not change.
However, with no crowds, each franchise is expected to lose anywhere between Rs 2.5 to 3.5 cr per IPL match from gate revenue (approx. Rs 20-25 cr for the season). Will BCCI compensate? Further, accommodation in India during IPL comes cheap because of bulk booking. UAE, however, will turn out to be relatively costlier, bringing in additional expense.
The eight franchises are also awaiting the details regarding players. Flying players to UAE & back, family (of players) travel, travel of overseas players to UAE & back, replacement in case of non-availability of players, replacement of players due to medical reasons, players being loaned during the tournament, general policy terms related to isolation upon reaching UAE, day-to-day routines to be followed are some of the points about which the franchises are looking to hear about from the board.
And last, but the most important is the biosecure bubble. The franchises are in the dark when it comes to what policies the BCCI has set for ensuring players’ safety. The franchises are in the middle of devising their own ways. They have already sent staff into quarantine, getting their own medical staff ready, sharing notes with other team managements, educating players on a regular basis, and doing their own homework on processes like sanitization, awareness, what to do, and not do.