The 13th edition of Indian Premier League (IPL 2020) is coming closer as only one month is left for the tournament to start But schedule is yet to be released. On August 2, BCCI announced that the IPL 2020 will be played from 19th September and the final will be played on 10th November 2020.
Mumbai Indians skipper Rohit Sharma congratulated MS Dhoni on his international retirement and tweeted, “Looking forward to meeting at the toss on September 19”, which means that Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings will encounter each other in the opening match. If this is to be believed true the schedule is almost ready but what’s the delay?
According to a report in Times of India, the delay is due to BCCI planning to create a “dynamic schedule” due to ongoing pandemic. All the teams have reached UAE but the scheduled isn’t out by now as BCCI is tieing up some loose ends.
Few English and Australian players will be not available for the first week of the IPL 2020, so BCCI would be planning to allot starting matches to the teams that don’t depend on the England and Australian players.
“The first week of the IPL could possibly see the English and Australian players missing, because post the conclusion of the white-ball series in England, the players will land in the UAE only around September 17 or 18 following which a week’s quarantine will come into effect,” a source said ply to the development.
“So there is a possibility that matches in those first three or four days can be allotted to teams not majorly dependent on players flying over from the UK,” sources added.
Another reason is that if a player from any team testing positive which will mean, the said player will have to go into quarantine for 14 days along with teammates – or those sharing the same bio bubble – go into quarantine for the six-day mandatory period and once again go through the three mandatory PCR tests.
“If that happens, can that team play on those six days? Possibly not. But the tournament will go on, so it’s necessary to work on the possibility of keeping a schedule flexible enough where matches can be brought forward and delayed, as and when necessary,” they added.
Dynamic Schedule Challenges
Preparing a dynamic schedule is also a challenge as engaging the audience will be kept in mind. Holding the audience for the second week is important as it acts act as a bridge between the enthusiasm of the first week and the third week from which tournament becomes interesting as the battle for playoffs starts.
“A thorough build-up to the IPL every year often results in the first week of the tournament being a hit and obviously getting lapped up by the viewers. The second week becomes important because the emphasis then is to ensure the same kind of enthusiasm remains because from the third week onwards, teams are already starting to battle for the playoffs and the points table becomes a talking point. So, structuring the second week of the tournament while keeping flexibility in mind is necessary,” BCCI sources said.
“The first schedule was prepared early this year keeping the March-April-May window in mind, but now with the change in destination and the months, there’s an effort to try and schedule as many double-headers from the second week of October onwards so that the afternoon matches are played in better temperatures,” say those in the know.