Guwahati: After much delay owing to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2020 is all set to be held from September 19 to November 10 this year. Earlier, it was scheduled between March 29 and May 24.
After getting the provisional approval from the Indian government to host the popular Twenty20 cricket league in the UAE, the latest season is now all set to kick off from September 19, with Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah as the main venues. There won’t be any spectators at the venues, though, at least during the initial phase of the tournament, as per the decision taken by the IPL Governing Council on Sunday.
Due to the current pandemic situation, the council has limited the squad size for all the eight franchises to a maximum of 24 players per franchise, as compared to the previous limit of 27 players. “The Governing Council also discussed the comprehensive Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs), which will be finalised and published in due course, including the agencies to execute and deliver a bio-secure environment for safe and successful conduct of IPL 2020 Season,” said BCCI secretary Jay Shah.
The opening match of the season will be played between the finalists of the previous season where the defending champions Mumbai Indians will take on the three-time winner Chennai Super Kings. The cash-rich league will see as many as 60 T20 matches being played among the eight competing teams with the final being scheduled on November 10, 2020.
This is the first time that an IPL final has been scheduled on a weekday (Tuesday) to adhere to the broadcaster Star Network’s request as it coincides with the Diwali celebrations in India. Besides deciding to stage the first-ever weekday final, the governing council also decided to start the evening matches from 7:30 pm which otherwise used to start at 8:00 pm keeping in mind the onset of winter.
The tentative full schedule for IPL 2020 is given below: