The Indian Premier League 2020 is expected to kick-off on the 19th of September after a lot of speculation. The governing council is all set to conduct a meeting to prepare a layout for the event so as to run the tournament smoothly amid the pandemic.
Though the challenges put forward by the pandemic have been dealt by the governing bodies and more importantly the countries the new issue evolving now is the availability of some players due to the lockdown and other factors in the respective countries. The two countries in question are South Africa and Sri Lanka. IPL franchises- Mumbai Indians and Royal Challengers Bangalore are the two teams that would take blows due to this issue.
As Mumbai Indians is coached by former Sri Lankan captain Mahela Jayawardene and the service of the legendary pacer Lasith Malinga would also be missed on. It is also to be noted that upcoming star Isuru Udana was also signed by Mumbai Indians for the 2020 season. The inaugural Lankan Premier League T20 is scheduled to be conducted from August 20 and September 20, which means the key Mumbai Indians player would miss at least a few opening matches.
The Sri Lankan officials have made it a point that none of the players can leave the tournament to take part in another tournament. This announcement has also put four Sri Lankan players who are to take part in the CPL 2020 which is set to be played between August 18 and September 10 in Trinidad behind closed doors.
Dasun Shanaka, Avishka Fernando, Wanidu Hasaranga and Bhanuka Rajapaksa are the four Lankan players who had seeked permission to play in CPL 2020. But with the announcement being made official these players are very likely to miss out on the West Indian League.
In the latest development to events, Mumbai Indians pacer Lasith Malinga is said to be playing for the Lankan Premier League and join Mumbai Indians after the completion. Whereas, Mumbai Indians coach Mahela Jayawardene has not made any official statement.
The South African players are facing a similar situation but the reason being different. As the government has sealed their borders owing to the pandemic and travelling in and out of the country is only permitted for emergency services.
There are 10 South African players signed up with various IPL franchises,namely : AB De Villiers(Royal Challengers Bangalore), Chris Morris(Royal Challengers Bangalore) and Dale Steyn (Royal Challengers Bengaluru), Kagiso Rabada (Delhi Capitals), Quinton De Kock (Mumbai Indians), Faf Du Plessis (Chennai Super Kings), Imran Tahir (Chennai Super Kings), Lungi Ngidi (Chennai Super Kings), Hardus Viljoen (KingsXI Punjab) and David Miller (Rajasthan Royals).
The most affected franchise would be that of Royal Challengers Bangalore as they would miss on key players like AB de Villers, Dale Steyn and all-rounder Chris Morris.The franchise would need ample clearances to get their players to participate in the tournament. The officials of the team are likely to send a single flight for all nine players aside from Imran Tahir.
Cover Credits: IPLT20