The Indian Premier League 2020 will start in the UAE from September 19. The Board of Control for Cricket in India or the IPL Governing Council is yet to reveal which two teams will play the opener and where. However, BCCI president Sourav Ganguly has made an interesting revelation. Up to 30% of the stadium capacity may “soon be filled” for the IPL games in Dubai, Sharjah and Abu Dhabi, the three venues to host the 60 IPL games across 53 days.
“Because of the COVID and infection, you don’t want people to be too close to each other, but very soon you will see there will be 30% people in the ground with social distancing,” Ganguly said during an online lecture as part of the Symbiosis Golden Jubilee Lecture Series.
“They are properly tested and allowed to enter the ground. But I think that is going to happen over a period of time,” he added referring to the possibility of IPL’s later matches being opened for fans depending on the COVID-19 situation. “…it is actually an effort to bring life back to normal. This will go on for another five-six months till the vaccine comes and I am sure everything then will be back to normal,” PTI has quoted Ganguly as saying.
Ganguly also downplayed the prevailing COVID-19 pandemic threat as nothing but a small bump. “This is just a virus which is already weakening and we will hopefully get past it. These are small bumps in our life, and we have to get past it. We could have easily avoided the IPL…but then, that’s what we humans are and that’s why we have survived all the difficult times.
“There have been wars, which people have come out from, there have been other bugs which people have come out from over the years.
“It is only because mankind, people like you and me, and all of us in this discussion have the mental mindset to say ‘hey listen if people are pushing us to the wall, we will find a way back and get life normal’. I think that is important,” he added.
The tournament’s preparations have hit a rough patch with 13 members of the Chennai Super Kings contingent, including two players, testing positive for the dreaded virus. Broadcaster Star Sports was also compelled to delay the first flight for the production crew after a broadcast team member returned positive for novel coronavirus infection.