The 13th edition of cricket biggest T20 league IPL will commence from 19th September in the United Arab Emirates. The Three venues Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah will host 60 matches across 53 days till November 10. Indian Premier League was earlier scheduled take Place from March 19 in India before COVID-19 halted all sports activities globally. BCCI decided to utilize the open window by moving the tournament to UAE after ICC postponed the World T20. BCCI is yet to announce the dates of complete fixtures for the IPL this year.
The eight teams have already reached UAE and apart from CSK rest of the teams have started their practice session after completing their mandatory 7-day quarantine period. All the players had undergone three COVID Tests in India and three tests in UAE before they could hit training ground. Moreover, regular tests are planned throughout the tournament.
IPL management has asked the franchises to strictly the follow the SOP’s and any breach in the protocols will result in “Punishment” under the tournament’s code of Conduct. The biggest challenge players will face is adapting to bio-secure environment where player’s physical movement will be limited. In the auction, teams emphasized picking the squad keeping the Indian soil in mind but as the tournament is shifted to UAE teams have to deal with new challenges now. The Number of players in the squad is reduced to 24 from 25. RCB coach Simon Katich believes the conditions in UAE is pretty much similar to India but still, the players will have to adjust quickly after a long break from cricket.
The NADA (National Anti-Doping Agency) has joined hands with UAE’s NADO (National Anti-Doping Committee) to carry out the collection of dope samples of cricketers. UAE chairman of ECB expressed privilege in hosting Cricket’s Pinnacle Event and ensured full support in making the tournament successful.