Former Indian cricketer Sunil Gavaskar believes that the upcoming edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) will bring a positive vibe into the lives of millions of people amid the distressing time of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It’s an absolute delight to welcome back Indian cricket with the Dream11 IPL and I hope this tournament can infuse positive energy into the lives of millions of people,” said Gavaskar as quoted by IANS.

“The Indian Premier League has been the perfect platform to unearth talent and I hope this year too, we get to see that. The teams are stacked up really well and all eyes will be on the opening game between Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings,” he added.

Even though the IPL – like every year – will see a flurry of stars, much of the focus will be on former India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni who retired from international cricket last month. Dhoni last played for India back in July 2019 in the ICC World Cup in England and will be making his comeback in competitive cricket.

“We will be watching MS Dhoni play after a year, and am sure everyone is waiting to see him back in action,” said Gavaskar.

Earlier, former India opener Virender Sehwag had also said that the 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.

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.