The Governing Council of the Indian Premier League has announced on Sunday that all the prior sponsors of the event, including the Chinese mobile company, VIVO will be retained in the upcoming IPL 2020. The governing body has also approved the COVID-19 substitutions in the event that were introduced.
The event will be played from September 19 to November 10, in UAE, at three venues- Dubai, Sharjah and Abu Dhabi, which is still subject to the permission of the government, that is expected to arrive in a couple of days. The tournament will be played for 53 days and will be conducted keeping in mind the safety and health measures of the players and the associated members.
The Board of Control for Cricket in India released a statement recently that said, “ The 53-day tournament will witness 10-afternoon matches starting at 15:30 IST while the evening matches will start at 19:30 IST.”
“Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) is still being prepared but there would be any number of COVID replacements this year,” a BCCI official told PTI.
Chinese Sponsors Retained
Though speculations were closed after the announcement of the IPL 2020 being held in UAE after the ICC T20 World Cup was cancelled, there was still a lingering issue whether there will be a Chinese sponsorship to the event.
After the Indian and Chinese troops clashed violently in Eastern Ladakh, tension grew between the two countries. India lost 20 soldiers which caused immense outrage in the country leading India to take strict steps against the country. 59 apps were banned immediately as they brought a threat to the citizen’s data and security.
Though BCCI has promised to review the deals earlier, an anonymous IPL Governing Council told PTI on Sunday, “All I can say is that all our sponsors are with us. Hopefully you can read between the lines.”
VIVO pays around Rs 440 crore per year as the Title sponsor to IPL, a five-year deal with the BCCI, that will end on 2022. The Board would have faced difficulty to get new sponsors at such short notice, given the current financial condition of the economy.
The IPL Governing Council has also approved Women’s IPL, as repored by PTI after speaking with the BCCI president Sourav Ganguly on Sunday.
“Women’s T20 Challenge will also take place in the UAE and will comprise three teams with four matches to be played during the IPL Playoff week,” stated the Board’s press release.
The tournament is taking place out of India given the rising case count of the COVID-19 infection. As UAE has less-strict safety norms, it will allow the tournament to fly in players from all around the globe. India has till now reported more than 18 lakh of positive cases while the death number has crossed 38, 000.
“The final will be played on November 10 as it enters the Diwali week making it lucrative for the broadcasters,” the IPL GC member said. It is expected that the squad strength in terms of playing members will be 24 for the eight franchises.”
“Also the BCCI has received presentations from a Dubai based group on creating a medical facility in the UAE. The BCCI is also in talks with the Tata Group for creating a bio-bubble,” the official said.
Sanjay Manjrekar Requests BCCI
Given the commencement of IPL, Sanjay Manjrekar has sent an email to the BCCI asking to reinstate him as a commentator for the IPL 2020. In the mail, he has said that he is willing to work as per the guidelines issued by the BCCI.
“I will be happy to work as per the guidelines laid by you. After all, we are working on what is essentially your production,” Manjrekar wrote in his letter.
In March this year, Manjrekar was let go as a commentator by the BCCI.
This resulted as Manjrekar was severely criticised for calling the Indian all-rounder Jadeha a “bits and pieces cricketer” during 2019 IPL. After which, he also went on a verbal on-air spat with Harsha Bhogle, one of the most reputed commentator.
During India’s inaugural day-night Test against Bangladesh, Manjrekar went on to say that Bhogle does not have enough knowledge about the pink-ball as he has never played professional cricket. Manjrekar has apologised on both occasions. However, it is yet to see whether the BCCI accepts the letter.
IPL 2020 Highlights:
- Formal Clearance is expected to happen within the next week.
- Tournament duration is of 53 days.
- Dates- September 19 to November 10.
- Women’s IPL approved.
- Squad: 24 Players.
- Any number of COVID-19 replacement (if any team members get affected, can be replaced).
- Schedule of Play to be handed over in the next 7 to 10 days.
- Tata Group and a Dubai-based medical group to give a presentation on creating a bio-secure bubble for the teams.
- Unlike previous years, the matches will start at 7:30 PM, IST instead of 8.00 PM.