Broadcaster prompts earlier start to the IPL

The Vivo IPL Trophy.  

The Indian Premier League (IPL) has advanced its schedule by a week to accommodate the broadcaster’s demand for reducing the number of double-headers — afternoon matches do not attract the same advertising rates that night games do.

But the proposed start on September 19, instead of September 26 as originally intended, may result in some international cricketers racing against time to get the requisite COVID-19-related clearance from the health authorities in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

On Friday, IPL governing council chairman Brijesh Patel confirmed that the tournament will be played in the UAE from September 19 to November 8, pending government clearance. It effectively means that some of the cricketers likely to feature in England’s limited-overs series against Australia will miss the start of the IPL.

The archrivals are set to face off in three T20Is and as many ODIs in England from September 4 to 15. Some franchises are hoping that England and Australia cricketers are allowed to skip the ODI series to arrive in time to be ready for the league’s start.

A traveller from the United Kingdom will have to be quarantined in the UAE only until his COVID-19 test results are confirmed negative upon arrival in Dubai. The test will be conducted immediately on landing and the result takes around 48 hours.

“If the key players are released after the T20 series [which ends on September 10], it would give them enough time to settle down and get into the IPL zone before the first game,” said a franchise official on condition of anonymity.

The eight teams are set to reach UAE in the second half of August for a prolonged preparatory camp.

Women’s T20 Challenge

Meanwhile, the Women’s T20 Challenge — exhibition games organised during the last two IPL editions — may be scrapped this year. While the BCCI is yet to make a final decision, considering the fact that top women cricketers will be busy with the Women’s Big Bash League in Australia from October 17 to November 29, the T20 Challenge matches could be deferred to next year.

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Printable version | Oct 23, 2021 9:22:27 AM |

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