The Board of Control for Cricket in India is considering some more relief for the Indian Premier League broadcast partner Star India. The league in the UAE may by extended by two more days to schedule the final on November 10.
The strategic move will allow Star Sports another broadcast day by way of reducing one more double header. More importantly, the broadcast sponsorship inventory will have two additional days to sell closer to Diwali.
SportzFront had reported last week that Star India was more keen on having the IPL 2020 final on August 10 or 11. The BCCI, considering the Star India demand, had already advanced the start of the IPL 2020 by a week to September 19.
According to a Times of India report, the IPL Governing Council on Sunday while deliberating on the schedule may still defer the final by two days. If this happens the IPL for the first time in 13 years of its existence will deviate from the practice of playing the final on a Sunday.
For now, the BCCI has “unofficially confirmed” that the 60 IPL games this year will be played across 51 days from September 19 to November 8. A two-day delay would mean the final will fall on the Tuesday, November 10.
The move would mean that the Team India will directly fly from the UAE to Australia for its tour Down Under.
“Even if the players are left without any IPL matches, they will continue to remain in UAE and participate in a camp there. As soon as the IPL is over, the remaining players – busy playing the final knockout matches of the league – will join the rest and the entire team will fly together from there,” the daily has reported, quoting those tracking developments.
These decisions, nevertheless, are merely under contemplation right now and a final call will be taken only at the governing council meeting.
NO FANS; FRANCHISEES TO DECIDE ON WAGS
In yet another report, it is stated that the initial phase of the IPL in the UAE will be played without any fans in the stadium. As the COVID-19 curve is expected to flatten by the September-end, the spectators in limited numbers with strict standard operating guidelines and restrictions may be permitted at a later stage.
The BCCI, national daily Indian Express has reported, will not decide on allowing the players’ wives and girlfriends. It will be left to the franchisees to take a call on this. However, the families and other franchisee staff will have to strictly adhere to the standard operating procedures.
The families and the support staff will not be allowed to break the secured ‘bio bubble’. No one in the contingent will have the liberty to break the bio bubble and get back into it.
The BCCI will reportedly follow the SOPs adopted by the England and Wales Cricket Board during the just-concluded England-West Indies Test series. England pacer Jofra Archer was compelled to miss the second Test as he had moved out of the bio bubble and visited his home following the first match.
Only 15 players per team will be permitted in the team dressing rooms.
Each player will also have to reportedly take four tests for COVID-19 in the two weeks preceding to the IPL. The two tests will be conducted prior to the teams’ departure to the UAE and two others in the intervening period between their arrival in the Emirates and the start of the League during the league.
Meanwhile, the BCCI is awaiting the go ahead from the Government of India for taking the league to the UAE. Once the Government permission is place, the IPL GC will put the stamp on authority on all plans and strategies.
The GC is scheduled to have a teleconference on Sunday, August 2.