Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) president Sourav Ganguly on Wednesday flew to Dubai to attend the opening of the upcoming edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) there.
IPL Governning Council chairman Brijesh Patel is among the other officials who are already present in Dubai to make sure the arrangements of the cash-rich league are in order.
“My first flight in 6 months to Dubai for IPL…crazy life changes,” Ganguly posted on his Instagram account with a photo in which he is wearing a mask and a face shield, part of the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) while flying during the time of the pandemic.
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Reigning champions Mumbai Indians will take on arch-rivals Chennai Super Kings in the opening match of the cash rich T20 league, which has been moved to the UAE due to the rising Covid-19 cases in India.
All the eight franchises have reached the United Arab Emirates and have begun training. There was a little hiccup as well when 13, members of the Chennai Super (CSK) squad were tested positive for COVID-19.
The 2020 season of the IPL will be played for 53 days from September 19 to November 10 across three venues in the UAE — Abu Dhabi, Sharjah, and Dubai.
The final match will be played on a Tuesday, to make it the first-ever IPL to have its final on a weekday. The matches this season will also start 30 minutes before their original time of 4 PM and 8 PM.
The IPL 2020, which was scheduled to be played from March 29 this year, was earlier postponed to April 15 before it was suspended again due to the crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
However, after the International Cricket Council (ICC) formally announced the postponement of the T20 World Cup, the BCCI capitalised on the opportunity to stage the IPL during the time the T20 World Cup was dated to take place.
But with the coronavirus situation escalating in India with each passing day, the Indian board decided to move the tournament out of the country. It is believed, UAE was chosen keeping in mind their prior experience of hosting a limited part of the tournament in 2014.