Despite all eight teams already arrived and currently under isolation in UAE ahead of the Indian Premier League (IPL), due to commence on September 19, the governing body has not reveal the full schedule of the cash-rich tournament that creates speculations of another postponement. Earlier reports claim that the spike of coronavirus infection in UAE delays the schedule reveal.
The news of the cancellation of the IPL was brought out by a Twitter handle Farzi Cricketer. The cricket parody account tweeted saying, “JUST IN: BCCI officially suspends IPL 2020 indefinitely in light of the #Coronavirus pandemic”. As far as the IPL is concerned, there is no official statement from the tournament’s governing body nor from Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).
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However, the BCCI and and the Emirates Cricket Board (ECB) have obtained that needed exception from the UAE government, ruling out the cancelation. It is learnt that Abu Dhabi has implemented testing for the virus on its borders, making travel into the emirate more time-consuming. Abu Dhabi is the base for two teams – Kolkata Knight Riders and Mumbai Indians – and is due to host 21 matches.
“We have obtained all necessary permissions for the IPL matches in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah. The teams can travel and they need not be quarantined. Of course, those coming from outside may have to undergo quarantine but those who are already there need not worry worry over the travel,” an ECB official told a news portal. Dubai and Sharjah are to host 21 and 14 matches, respectively.
According to other reports, some of the franchises have ‘requested’ the Indian cricket board to announce the schedule ‘quickly’. “God knows, when will they (BCCI) share the schedule with us. We have requested the BCCI — both orally and through texts — to make it quick as we have to plan accordingly,” a team source told a news portal.
The current spike of infection in the country alarmed local officials and organizers, leading to a possibility of a league without the fans in stadiums. “We have no information on the change of format or any such thing. The BCCI has not communicated to us. As for the crowd, the BCCI wants matches held behind closed doors and we believe it will be that way,” the ECB official added.
The 13th edition of the IPL will be played in the UAE from September 19 to November 10. The league was originally scheduled to take place in India during the March-May window, however, it had to be suspended because of the coronavirus pandemic. The tournament will still have 60 games and likely to be played behind closed doors due to the recent spike.
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