IPL set to start on September 19, final on November 8

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The eagerly-awaited Indian Premier League will start on September 19 in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) with the final slated on November 8, IPL Chairman Brijesh Patel said on Friday.

While the event’s Governing Council will meet next week to chalk out the final details and approve the schedule, it is understood that the BCCI has informally intimated the franchises about the plan.

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“The GC will meet shortly but we have finalised the schedule. It will run from September 19 to November 8. We expect the government approval to come through. It is a full 51-day IPL,” Patel confirmed the development after PTI reported the dates on Thursday.

The IPL has been made possible by the ICC’s decision to postpone the October-November T20 World Cup in Australia owing to the COVID-19 pandemic due to which the host country expressed its inability to conduct the event.

Patel said that the Standard Operating Procedure to combat the COVID-19 threat is being prepared and the BCCI will formally write to the Emirates Cricket Board.

“We are making the SOP and it will be ready in a few days. To allow crowd or not depends on the UAE government. Anyway social distancing has to be maintained. We have left it for their government to decide on that. Will also be writing to the UAE board formally,” Patel said.

There are three grounds available in the UAE — Dubai International Stadium, Sheikh Zayed Stadium (Abu Dhabi) and the Sharjah ground.

It is learnt that the BCCI will be renting the grounds of the ICC Academy for training of the teams.

The ICC Academy has two full-sized cricket grounds along with 38 turf pitches, 6 indoor pitches, a 5700 square foot outdoor conditioning area along with physiotherapy and medicine centre.