–Each squad will be allowed a maximum of 24 players and unlimited Covid-19 subs
MUMBAI: IPL 2020 will take place in the UAE from September 19 to November 10, pending clearances from the Indian government.
During its meeting on Sunday, the IPL governing council decided to set a 24-player limit for each squad and approved the use of unlimited Covid-19 substitutes.
The window makes IPL 2020 a 53-day event, three days longer than the last two seasons, and the longest of all the eight-team editions of the tournament. Ten of the 53 days will involve double-headers. The matches will be played across Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah, with 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).
According to sources, detailed fixtures would be sent to them on Monday and that the first leg of the tournament will be played behind closed doors. The Emirates board, earlier this week, had shown a keenness to fill the stadiums to 30-50pc capacity.
A BCCI release said the Women’s T20 Challenge would also take place alongside the IPL, featuring three teams playing four matches during the final week of the tournament. The release added that the governing council would finalise and publish its standard operating procedures (SOPs) “in due course, including the agencies to execute and deliver a bio-secure environment for the safe and successful conduct of IPL 2020 Season.”
In the lead-up to the meeting, it was understood that the date for the final was a toss-up between November 8 and November 10. With the latter date chosen, the IPL will for the first time have the final on a weekday – Tuesday.
The BCCI said a meeting with the franchises would be called shortly, and among the logistical and operational issues that will be discussed before the SOPs are ready, three franchises – Sunrisers Hyderabad, Rajasthan Royals, and Kings XI Punjab – will likely be seeking clarity on the squad limit, given that all three of them currently have 25 players listed in their squads on the official IPL website.
The IPL will retain all its major sponsor, including the Chinese mobile company VIVO, the title sponsor. The topic of Chinese sponsors has been a contentious one in recent weeks, given the cross-border tensions between India and China.
In April, the BCCI postponed the 2020 IPL season indefinitely due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The board’s first preference was to stage the event in India, but the rapidly increasing count of coronavirus cases in the country has made that unfeasible. The total count of confirmed cases in India has shot past the 1.75 million marks, which puts the country place behind only the USA and Brazil worldwide.
On July 21, Brijesh Patel, the chairman of the IPL governing council, announced that plans were afoot to hold the tournament in the UAE. Part of the 2014 edition was also held in the UAE since it coincided with the general elections in India.