The BCCI sources earlier confirmed that IPL will be held on September 19 with final either on 8 or 10 November. Furthermore, we have also learned that the IPL governing council will be meeting sometime next week and here are the key questions that need to be answered before officially announcing the IPL time table for 2020.
What if a player (hypothetically) gets a COVID-19 positive test result?
UAE has not yet become a COVID-19 free nation like New Zealand. So even if the test is taken every day for the entire team and one player gets a positive result, then there is a possibility that the player might be in contact with other players. So, will the entire team be suspended or will IPL be suspended for 2-3 days to test other teams as well? It will be difficult to push the IPL further because team India has to tour Australia one month prior to the series to get used to the conditions along with quarantine policy.
What if players decide to pull out? How to arrange for replacements?
We all know that all overseas players are excited and desperate to play IPL. Till now, no individual player has pulled out from the IPL contract. In a country like the UAE, where the cases are less than other nations, it unlikely that players will pull out due to COVID-19 fear. There is an issue with South Africa as they are showing reluctancy in sending their players to UAE considering the rapid increase in COVID-19 cases across South Africa.
It will very difficult for franchisees to find like for like overseas players instead, they will prefer uncapped Indian players. And what if a player gets injured, will the franchise demand for replacement? It will be difficult for new players to come into the bio bubble midseason. It will be better if teams carry extra Indian and overseas players rather than replacing them mid-season.
How secure will the Bio Bubble be?
There will be different layers of the biosecure bubble. The question arises whether the bio-secure will be for entire IPL (players, support staff, managers, drivers, families, match officials, etc) or whether each franchise will have its own bio-secure bubble? Every team will have a squad of 50-60 members, so will every franchise stay in different hotels? The questions are many to be answered in the IPL meeting.
Families must be allowed or not?
BCCI has given the right for franchises to decide whether families cam travel along with players or not.
If any of the franchises allows families then they will also be a part of bio-bubble which expands the bubble making it weak. There is no point in bringing families and restrict them to hotels instead will prefer staying at home.
But in hindsight, you also think of players especially the Indian contracted ones who will have stay away from families for a longer period of time, as Indian players, after IPL will directly travel to Australia this November and tour till mid-January of 2021. In a COVID-19 pandemic situation, the players will require moral support from their families and wives.
The Cricketschedule coverage for IPL 2020, 13th Edition is here.