The dates for the 13th edition of the Indian Premier League are finally out. The eagerly awaited tournament is set to be held from September 19 to November 8 in the United Arab Emirates, IPL Chairman Brajesh Patel told Indian media agency PTI.
The IPL Governing Council is set to meet next week to work out the final details and approve the schedule. However, reports indicate that the BCCI has informally told the franchises about the proposed dates.
"The GC will meet shortly but we have finalised the schedule. It will run from September 19 to November 8. We expect the government approval to come through. It is a full 51-day IPL," Patel told PTI.
The decision to hold the cash rich tournament was taken after the ICC decided to postpone the T20 World Cup, which was scheduled to be held in October-November in Australia, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Australia had expressed its inability to host such a massive tournament amid the health situation.
Patel added that the Standard Operating Procedure to combat the COVID-19 threat is still being prepared and the BCCI will formally write to the Emirates Cricket Board.
"We are making the SOP and it will be ready in a few days. To allow crowds or not depends on the UAE government. Anyway social distancing has to be maintained. We have left it for their government to decide on that. Will also be writing to the UAE board formally," Patel said.
As per the current health protocol in Dubai, there is no need to be in quarantine if people are carrying a negative COVID-19 test report, but if they are not, they will have to undergo a test.
The UAE has three main cricket stadiums - Dubai International Stadium, Sheikh Zayed Stadium (Abu Dhabi) and the Sharjah ground. PTI has also reported that the BCCI will likely be renting the grounds of the ICC Academy for teams to train.
The ICC Academy has two full-sized cricket grounds along with 38 turf pitches, 6 indoor pitches, a 5,700 square foot outdoor conditioning area along with physiotherapy and a medicine centre.