As the Indian Premier League (IPL) draws ever closer to the 2020 series, there is a huge amount of news you should be keeping an eye on. To start, this weekend the governing council is set to meet via teleconference. This will be followed by a meeting with stakeholders like franchise owners, broadcasters, and major sponsors for the event.
This series of meetings is set to nail down the “final plan” for the tournament that will be played in the UAE. So far we know that the tournament will be starting on September 19, but further details have yet to emerge.
Several publications have reported that concerns have been raised by franchise owners. These concerns have been related to the arrangements being put in place for the tournament. In response to this, governing council chairman Brijesh Patel commented earlier.
“In all these years of the IPL, the responsibility of accommodation, hospitality, travel, etc - during the IPL - has been of the team owners. Nothing is going to change this year. The only change will be in the SOPs with regards to COVID.”
Patel went on to confirm the date of the teleconferences scheduled for this weekend. Along with this information, we have even more details confirmed regarding changes brought upon by COVID-19.
- Revenue Pools
- There will be no change in the distribution of BCCI’s central revenue pool
- Gate Money
- As a live audience will be impossible due to social distancing guidelines, there will not be any gate fees being taken. The board confirmed this, saying that this lost revenue is a ‘pittance’ in comparison to what would be lost if the tournament was cancelled altogether.
- Travel and Housing
- The governing council has confirmed that, as in previous IPL series events, franchises will be responsible for their travel arrangements and accommodation in the UAE. That said, BCCI will be coordinating with UAE officials to make sure there are discounted hotel rates that will be shared with franchises.
- Franchises will be able to choose between the arrangements negotiated by BCCI, or they will have to make their own.
- As standard, each franchise will be responsible for their travel arrangements.
- Player Replacement and Loaning
- There have been no changes to these policies from previous years. Franchises are free to bring extra players with them to avoid any last-minute travel arrangements.
- Medical Assistance
- Franchises will have to arrange for their medical teams to accompany them throughout the IPL.
- BCCI will be arranging a central medical team to oversee the event.
- Franchises will be responsible for testing all members for COVID-19 regularly.
- Medical teams will be required to coordinate with the BCCI daily.
- Each medical team will be staying within the security button of their franchise.
- Bio-secure Bubble
- There will be strict protocols put into place to ensure that each franchise remains bio-secure within their franchise. This means that each team will only be interacting with a small number of people in their ecosystem.
- Some members of this bio-secure bubble will be allotted to the franchise by the BCCI.
- BCCI and IMG staff, as well as broadcasters and other parties, will have similar protocols governing who they can interact with.
- No one will be able to interact with individuals outside of their bubble unless dictated by pre-appointed coordinators.
In other IPL related news, Rajat Bhatia has announced his retirement from cricket. While Bhatia could never quite crack the India code throughout his fairly impressive domestic career, he was very successful in the IPL.
"I had decided last year only (about retirement). I was not playing domestic cricket here and then got to do commentary. Then I was playing as a professional in Bangladesh but this year they stopped hiring professionals and then coronavirus happened. Therefore, I thought it was time to retire," Bhatia said.
He continued, "Having said that, I feel fitter than ever and very much open to playing in overseas leagues."
The Delhi all-rounder announced his retirement on Wednesday, bringing an end to a career that spanned nearly two decades. Bhatia made his first-class debut for Tamil Nadu way back in the 1999-2000 season. Two years later, Bhatia moved to his home team of Delhi, where he played for them until 2015. Since then, he moved to Uttarakhand. His last first-class match was in the 2019 Ranji Trophy. During the 2018-2019 season, he scored 700 runs.
IPL Betting notes that in List A cricket, he has scored 3038 runs at a 41.05 average. Not only this, but he has both three hundreds to his name and has picked up 93 wickets. Throughout the first three seasons of IPL, Bhatia played for the Delhi Daredevils. After this, he was drafted into the Kolata Knight Riders by squad captain Gautam Gambhir.
Bhatia played a crucial role during the team’s first victory in 2012 with 13 wickets picked up that season. After three IPLs with KKR, Bhatia was released from the franchise. He was later picked up by the Rajasthan Royals for an astounded 1.7 crores. He picked up 12 wickets in that season. Bhatia’s last IPL was during the 2017 season.
Bhatia, who has completed a course in biomechanics from an institute in Hawaii, says that he is very interested in exploring a career in that field.
"I have cleared stage 2, now I will be doing bio-mechanics 3. We have many bio-mechanics specialists in bowling but not in training. I can catch the movements of players and help them."
As news continues to come out surrounding IPL 2020, be sure to check back often. Several updates are coming out each and every day that we are sure you won’t want to piss. Stay tuned for up to the minute reports on new policy changes, scheduling dates, and more.