After months of speculations and rumours, the Indian Premier League (IPL) is finally set to go underway from 19 September 2020. The T20 extravaganza, which has been shifted to the UAE in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, will be played over 53 days involving 60 matches. Although the schedule of the league is yet to be released, the eight franchises have started preparing in full flow.
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has left no stone unturned in ensuring a safe and successful IPL 2020. It has recently shared a 16-page long draft document of standard operating protocols that need to be followed by the franchises from travelling to the UAE till the final ball is bowled in the tournament.
Regular testing to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus will be a permanent feature throughout the IPL 2020. Separate hotels for franchises, electronic team sheets, social distancing in dressing rooms, and recommendations for virtual and outdoor meetings are part of the directives issued by the BCCI.
All the 8 IPL teams will need to appoint a team doctor who will be responsible for ensuring bio-secure guidelines during the entire league. Also, the medical team of each franchise will need to obtain a complete medical and travel history (since 1st March 2020) of all the players and staff members at least two weeks before their departure to the UAE.
Families will be allowed to travel with the players and team support staff to the UAE but franchises need to ensure that close ones of the players follow all the safety protocols that are in place for the players and the staff members.
At cricketbettingtips.io, we’ve prepared a list of the important highlights for IPL 2020. Without any further ado, let’s take a look at the changed avatar of the IPL this year.
Testing and travelling directives
- All the 8 franchises were not allowed to leave to UAE before 20 August and had advised to use charter planes for travelling.
- The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) will likely make training facilities available for pre-tournament camps in UAE.
- All the players must undergo two RT-PCR tests one day prior to their arrival in the UAE.
- The players will have to be tested thrice in the span of 6-days post-arrival and they will have to remain under quarantine for this period.
- All members need to undergo a test at the airport before heading to the team hotel.
- Additional tests will be conducted as per need.
- All franchises have been asked to appoint a team doctor who will be responsible for ensuring bio-secure guidelines during the tournament.
- The Bio-Secure Environment ensures that only essential staff members will be on-site.
- The biosecure bubbles will be in 4 broadly categorized environments – Hotels, Training Sessions, Matches, and Transportations.
- All 8 teams will have to stay in different hotels.
- Team members have also been advised to wear masks outside their rooms in hotels.
- Once entered, players and support staff will not be allowed to leave the bubble throughout the duration of IPL 2020.
Team meetings and dressing room protocols
- Video and remote conference call technology is recommended for team meetings.
- For in-person team meetings, they are advised to be held outdoors where it would be possible to follow social distancing protocols.
- Indoor meetings will be held in sufficiently large rooms to allow social distancing.
- Venue Cricket Operation teams should consider using appropriate areas beyond normal dressing rooms.
- The dressing rooms must be appropriately deep cleaned regularly.
- Where possible, Scalene Hypercharge Corona Canon (Shycocan), a device that can neutralize 99.99% coronavirus that might be floating in the air, will be installed.
Player’s zone and match regulations
- Players must complete the daily temperature checks and other health questionnaires before arriving at the venue of the match.
- All the players and staff will need to have personalized belongings, including cricket equipment and water bottles.
- The use of saliva on the cricket ball is restricted.
- There will be specific time slots for players to use the gym and the same set of players should train together.
- There will be a single point of entry into the ground during a match.
Family members of the players
- Families wishing to accompany players and team support staff will have to follow all the mandatory protocols.
- If the family members step outside the bubble, they will need to undergo a week-long quarantine and fresh testing before re-entering the bio-secure environment.
- Families will not be allowed to travel on the same vehicle carrying players and team support staff to the venues.
Testing positive during the tournament
- Suspected/ positive patients will immediately be isolated from the rest of the squad and the infected person would be put in a sanitized room within the same hotel.
- The team doctor will have to inform the IPL Medical manager immediately and the case will be managed in close coordination with treatment centres equipped with COVID-19 testing and treatment.
- The individual will have to stay in isolation for a period of two weeks.
- After the 2 weeks of isolation, the individual must result in 2 negative PCR test reports done 24 hours apart.
IPL 2020 Squads
Ishan Kishan, Quinton de Kock, Aditya Tare, Rohit Sharma, Sherfane Rutherford, Suryakumar Yadav, Anmolpreet Singh, Chris Lynn, Saurabh Tiwary, Dhawal Kulkarni, Jasprit Bumrah, Lasith Malinga, Mitchell McClenaghan, Rahul Chahar, Trent Boult, Mohsin Khan, Prince Balwant Rai Singh, Digvijay Deshmukh, Hardik Pandya, Jayant Yadav, Kieron Pollard, Krunal Pandya, Anukul Roy, Nathan Coulter-Nile.
Chennai Super Kings
Ambati Rayadu, KM Asif, Narayan Jagadeesan, Shane Watson, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Ravindra Jadeja, M Vijay, MS Dhoni, Josh Hazlewood, Kedar Jadhav, Harbhajan Singh, Karn Sharma, Piyush Chawla, Suresh Raina, Imran Tahir, Deepak Chahar, Faf du Plessis, Shardul Thakur, Mitchell Santner, Dwayne Bravo, Lungi Ngidi, Sam Curran, Monu Kumar, Sai Kishore
Kolkata Knight Riders
Dinesh Karthik, Andre Russell, Harry Gurney, Kamlesh Nagarkoti, Lockie Ferguson, Nitish Rana, Prasidh Krishna, Rinku Singh, Sandeep Warrier, Shivam Mavi, Shubman Gill, Siddhesh Lad, Sunil Narine, Pat Cummins, Eoin Morgan, Varun Chakravarthy, Tom Banton, Rahul Tripathi, Chris Green, M Siddharth, Praveen Tambe, Nikhil Naik
Kane Williamson, David Warner, Manish Pandey, Virat Singh, Priyam Garg, Abdul Samad, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Khaleel Ahmed, Sandeep Sharma, Siddharth Kaul, Billy Stanlake, T Natarajan, Abhishek Sharma, Shahbaz Nadeem, Mitchell Marsh, Fabian Allen, Vijay Shankar, Mohammad Nabi, Rashid Khan, Sanjay Yadav, Jonny Bairstow, Wriddhiman Saha, Shreevats Goswami, Bavanaka Sandeep, Basil Thampi
Kings XI Punjab
Chris Gayle, Mayank Agarwal, Karun Nair, Sarfaraz Khan, Mandeep Singh, Sheldon Cottrell, Ishan Porel, Ravi Bishnoi, Mohammed Shami, Mujeeb ur Rahman, Arshdeep Singh, Hardus Viljoen, M Ashwin, J Suchith, Harpreet Brar, Darshan Nalkande, Glenn Maxwell, James Neesham, Chris Jordan, Krishnappa Gowtham, Deepak Hooda, Tajinder Singh Dhillon, KL Rahul, Nicholas Pooran, Prabhsimran Singh.
Mahipal Lomror, Manan Vohra, Riyan Parag, Steve Smith, Robin Uthappa, David Miller, Ankit Rajpoot, Mayank Markande, Jofra Archer, Shreyas Gopal, Varun Aaron, Jaydev Unadkat, Kartik Tyagi, Akash Singh, Oshane Thomas, Andrew Tye, Ben Stokes, Rahul Tewatia, Shashank Singh, Yashasvi Jaiswal, Anirudha Joshi, Tom Curran, Jos Buttler, Sanju Samson, Anuj Rawat
Shreyas Iyer, Prithvi Shaw, Ajinkya Rahane, Shikhar Dhawan, Jason Roy, Ishant Sharma, Amit Mishra, Avesh Khan, Sandeep Lamichhane, Kagiso Rabada, Keemo Paul, Mohit Sharma, Lalit Yadav, Axar Patel, Harshal Patel, R Ashwin, Marcus Stoinis, Chris Woakes, Rishabh Pant, Alex Carey, Shimron Hetmyer, Tushar Deshpande
Royal Challengers Bangalore
Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers, Gurkeerat Mann, Devdutt Padikkal, Aaron Finch, Yuzvendra Chahal, Mohammed Siraj, Umesh Yadav, Navdeep Saini, Kane Richardson, Dale Steyn, Isuru Udana, Moeen Ali, Pawan Negi, Shivam Dube, Washington Sundar, Chris Morris, Pavan Deshpande Parthiv Patel, Joshua Philippe, Shahbaz Ahamad
- Dubai International Cricket Stadium, Dubai
- Sheikh Zayed Stadium, Abu Dhabi
- Sharjah Cricket Stadium, Sharjah
Why BCCI is not ready with the schedule yet?
While IPL 2020 is less than a month away now, the BCCI is yet to release the schedule officially. The main reason for this might be the ongoing pandemic as the board is finding a way to keep the schedule dynamic.
There is no clarity over the quarantine protocols for the players of Australia and England. The two teams will be a part of the bilateral series till September 16 and will reach UAE the next day. And according to the protocols set by the BCCI, all the players must be in quarantine for a period of 7 days and test negative for COVID-19 thrice.
In that case, around 19 players will likely miss out the first week of the IPL. However, it’s possible that the quarantine may be relaxed for them as they will only be moving from one bubble to another.
“The English and Australian players could possibly miss the first week of the IPL, as post the conclusion of the white-ball series in England, the players will land in UAE around September 17 or 18 following which there will be a week’s quarantine. So, it’s possible that the first three or four days will be allocated to teams that are not majorly dependent on the English and Australian players,” a source told Times of India.
Also, if a player tests positive for COVID-19, he will have to stay in quarantine for a period of 14 days. Also, the ones sharing the bio-bubble with him will also go into quarantine for 6 days. “If that happens, will the team be able to play on those six days? Possibly not. So, it’s necessary to keep the schedule flexible enough where matches can be brought forward and delayed, as and when required,” the source added.
The second week of the IPL crucial for organizers
Since the inception of the IPL, the second week of every season is considered extremely crucial in terms of viewership. While preparing the schedule, the organizers will have to keep in mind that they keep the viewers engaged in the second week as well. The numbers are high in the first and the third week of the IPL. So, it’s possible that doubleheaders will be scheduled from the second week of October.
“A thorough build-up of the IPL each year results in the first week of the league being a hit. The second week is important as the emphasis then is to ensure that there’s the same kind of enthusiasm as the first week because teams start to battle for the playoffs from the third week and the point table then becomes a talking point.
“Hence, structuring the second week of the IPL with flexibility in mind is important. The first schedule was prepared with the March-May window in mind, but with the change in months, there’s an effort to schedule doubleheaders from the second weeks of October onwards so that afternoon matches are played in better temperatures,” the sources further added.