The Indian Premier League (IPL) has announced that due to the ongoing global health pandemic its 2020 season will be relocated to the United Arab Emirates to ensure that the competition goes ahead.
As part of the move, the VIVO IPL 2020 will be played between September 19 – November 10. Moreover, new regulations have been added to the competition due to the coronavirus outbreak, this includes having expanded 24-man squads plus an unlimited number of squad replacements due to the potential of losing players to positive COVID-19 tests.
An IPL spokesperson stated: “The Indian Premier League Governing Council (IPL GC) met today via video-conference to decide on the issues concerning the VIVO IPL 2020 edition. Taking note of the prevailing COVID-19 situation in India, the IPL GC decided to stage the tournament in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and the matches will be played in Dubai, Sharjah and Abu Dhabi subject to necessary clearances from the Government of India.”
“The Governing Council also discussed the comprehensive Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs), which will be finalised and published in due course, including the agencies to execute and deliver a bio-secure environment for safe and successful conduct of IPL 2020 Season.”
This year’s IPL is not the first time it has been hosted in UAE with roughly half of its 2014 campaign moved to the country due to the Indian elections.
The Women’s T20 Challenge will also be moved to the UAE, with the competition comprising three teams which will compete during the IPL’s playoff week. However, the move could cause some players to miss out on the tournament due to its clash of schedules with the Women’s Big Bash League, which starts on October 16 in Australia.
IPL’s 13th season was indefinitely postponed in April following the coronavirus outbreak, however, with the new measures that have been imposed plus the competitions decision to host the event elsewhere the tournament looks set to be completed in some capacity, akin to other sporting competitions worldwide.