Former India opener Virender Sehwag believes that the upcoming edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) will bring smiles back to the face of the fans after the long break due to the crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“While I’m sure we’re going to miss the matches being played in front of our home crowd, the tournament promises to bring joy to us all, especially after the long break,” said Sehwag as per a media release quoted by IANS.

Sehwag and cricket show host Samir Kochhar will come together to present an interactive cricket show ‘Power Play with Champions’ on the Flipkart app.

“Power Play with Champions on Flipkart Video brings the incentive of winning rewards, which everyone enjoys, combined with a thrilling season of cricket, there couldn’t be anything better,” said Sehwag.

“When this opportunity presented itself, there wasn’t much debate about taking it up. It’s another chance for me to stay connected with something I truly love and enjoy.

“I’m going to be testing people’s cricket knowledge and pre-emptive skills; I hope the audience is ready. It seems like exciting times ahead, with this show as well as the series,” he added.

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.

Virender Sehwag, IPL,, KXIP,
Virender Sehwag. (AFP PHOTO / CHANDAN KHANNA)