Players in action during an IPL match. File / AP
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) in its all-important Governing Council meeting of the Indian Premier League (IPL) has decided to hold the 13th edition of the league from Sept. 19 to Nov. 10. This will include 10 double headers. And the evening matches will start at 7:30 p.m. IST.
Speaking to IANS, a BCCI official said that it was decided to take the IPL into another week and that will see the final being played on Nov. 10. The official also said that to ensure that there is enough spacing between games considering the strict protocol that will be in place, 10 double headers have been planned.
“We have decided to go up till Nov. 10 and so the final will be held on a weekday for the first time. Also, to ensure that there is enough gaps between games considering the travelling and the bio secure environment and keeping all these things in mind, we will have 10 double headers this season,” the official revealed.
Asked about the starting time, the official said that it will be 7:30 pm IST for the evening games. “We have decided to bring it forward by 30 minutes from the regular time of the IPL which is 8 pm for evening games and we will start at 7:30 instead.”
Asked if entry of fans were discussed in the meeting, the official said that these things can be taken care of in consultation with the Emirates Cricket Board.
“It would be great to have some fans come in as that would boost the morale of the players for sure. But what needs to be remembered is that the safety of the players is priority. So, these are things we will discuss with the ECB at the right time,” the official said.
Franchises have also been asked to start the visa process. “We have been asked to start our visa process,” an official of one of the franchises told IANS.
“The BCCI has received clearance from the Sports Ministry and we are hopeful of a positive response from the other departments quite soon as well,” a BCCI official had told IANS.
The BCCI decided to continue with Vivo as the title sponsor. While there have been issues between India and China, the decision has been taken keeping in mind the sponsorship agreement and after consulting the legal team.
Speaking to IANS, a BCCI official said that the matter was discussed in the meeting and it was decided to continue with VIVO as title sponsors.
“The BCCI has taken this decision after the perusal of the sponsorship agreement and the ownership pattern and upon receiving legal advice in the matter,” the official explained.
The BCCI had on June 19 tweeted on the matter from its IPL handle. “Taking note of the border skirmish that resulted in the martyrdom of our brave jawans, the IPL Governing Council has convened a meeting next week to review IPL’s various sponsorship deals.” the official handle of IPL had said.
This was after the clash between India and China in the Galwan Valley. Twenty Indian Army men, including officers, were killed in an unprecedented violent clash with Chinese People’s Liberation Army troops at Galwan Valley in Eastern Ladakh.
Meanwhile, Indian cricket president Sourav Ganguly on Sunday said the women’s T20 Challenge was “very much on” after the IPL confirmed the virus-delayed men’s tournament would get underway in September.
Last year, a women’s T20 Challenge involving three teams was played alongside the cash-rich, globally popular Indian Premier League.
“I can confirm to you that the women’s IPL is very much on and we do have a plan in place for the national team also,” Ganguly told the Press Trust of India news agency.
He added that “we have a plan in place and we will have a camp (before the tournament) for women, I can tell you that”.
The Board of Control for Cricket in India president did not reveal any potential dates, but another official told PTI it was “likely to be held between Nov. 1-10”.
The IPL chairman Brijesh Patel told AFP in late July the men’s star-studded competition would start on September 19 in the UAE, with players possibly having to undergo quarantine.
India’s cricket authorities are still awaiting government approval to hold the event.
Indo-Asian News Service