The preparations of the Indian Premier League 2020 is in full swing as the tentative date announced is only three weeks away. Though, the BCCI (Board of Control for Cricket in India) is yet to finalize the schedule for the mega-event due to the ongoing restrictions in the state of Abu Dhabi amid the pandemic.

It is understood from various sources that the matches scheduled to be held in Abu Dhabi are the ones causing the delay as both the states- Dubai and Abu Dhabi both have different rules for containing the Pandemic. Dubai and Sharjah have not imposed any travel restrictions, which means the players could have smooth movement for the matches in these two states.

Though the state of Abu Dhabi has imposed strict travel restrictions amid the soaring number of Covid-19 cases in their region and individuals entering the region are subjected to undergo the mandatory rapid tests.

It is to be noted that the IPL franchises Kolkata Knight Riders and Mumbai Indians are in Abu Dhabi and the BCCI are in talks with the government officials of UAE to ensure the smooth proceedings for the teams.

The IPL governing Council chairman Brijesh Patel and acting CEO Hemang Amin are already said to be in Dubai to sort the issues and get a clearer picture on the travel restrictions and protocols. The BCCI spokesperson has also reported that if there is no positive news then the initial stage of the tournament may be completely held in Dubai and Sharjah and the board will look forward to shortening the number of matches to be played in Abu Dhabi. It was also reported by Brijesh Patel the finalized schedule can be expected to be released by the end of this week.

The Dubai-based teams for now are Rajasthan Royals and Kings Xl Punjab. The teams have already undergone the Tests and the results have come out negative. This means the teams could be starting their training soon in a phased manner at the ICC Academy in Dubai.

Rajasthan Royals IPL
Rajasthan Royals (Image Credits: CircleofCricket)

The BCCI Secretary also expressed his sorrow at approaching the start of the tournament without the state association officials as it was a tradition followed by the board. He said- “While I am confident that we will be able to deliver a memorable tournament, I will be approaching the start of the tournament with a heavy heart as your absence would render the opening incomplete.I am hopeful that till the time we reach the playoff week, we would have more relaxations on travel and interactions, which would allow us to have you all travel to the UAE,” Shah wrote.

The tournament was moved from India only for the second time in the history of IPL. The BCCI was forced to take the decision due to the soaring number of cases in India. The number of cases reported Worldwide have been 24M, with India reporting 3.31M cases.

Cover Credits: IPLT20