Within a month time, the much-awaited 13th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) will kick off in the foreign land of the UAE. The players, officials and the support staff have already reached the Gulf nation and are under the mandatory quarantine period. Stadiums are almost ready, but where is the schedule?
BCCI is yet to release the IPL 2020 complete fixtures of the tournament, which has been a major source of bafflement among cricket fanatics.
According to the reports in the Times of India, the primary reason behind the delay is the ongoing pandemic, which makes it incredibly difficult to go ahead with the fixed schedule. The board aims to be a little flexible in its approach in order to face unprecedented challenges that may arise in the middle of the tournament.
England and Australia cricketer will miss the first-week action
Further, as many as 19 cricketers from England and Australia will have to miss the first week of the cricketing action since both nations have a bilateral series lined up till September 16. And as per the protocols of BCCI, these players have to quarantine themselves for a minimum of seven days.
“The first week of the IPL could possibly see the English and Australian players missing, because post the conclusion of the white-ball series in England, the players will land in the UAE only around September 17 or 18 following which a week’s quarantine will come into effect,” a source told the national daily.
“So there is a possibility that matches in those first three or four days can be allotted to teams not majorly dependent on players flying over from the UK.”
Further, the second week of the cash-rich league is considered crucial for the broadcasters as this is when the craze starts to fade among viewers.
“The second week becomes important because the emphasis then is to ensure the same kind of enthusiasm remains because from the third week onwards, teams are already starting to battle for the playoffs and the points table becomes a talking point. So, structuring the second week of the tournament while keeping flexibility in mind is necessary,” BCCI sources concluded.