Too late Indian Premier League Saturday begins without its customary glitz and glamor, but the Twenty20 tournament is expected to be a relief for cricket fans during the coronovirus epidemic. The short-form extravaganza that normally began in March, as well as other major international sports events, were postponed as the countries underwent virus lockdown. As cases increased in India, it was transferred to the United Arab Emirates. All eight teams have been in strict, bio-safe ‘bubbles’ since landing in the UAE when defending champions Mumbai Indians take on Chennai Super Kings in Abu Dhabi on 19 September.
There will be no gala opening ceremony for the world’s richest T20 league, and games will be played behind closed doors at three venues including Dubai and Sharjah.
President of the Board of Control for Cricket in India, Sourav GangulyThe viewership is expected to increase for the 13th edition, with matches scheduled for India’s evening primetime TV slot.
Ganguly said, “They (broadcasters) are really expecting the highest ratings of the IPL this season because they believe that if (people) don’t come on the field, they will actually keep an eye on their television sets . “
“There is a positivity in everything.”
Ganguly said that the crowd could return to the stand later in the 53-day tournament, which ends on November 10.
The former captain said, “Because of the Kovid and the transition, you don’t want people to be too close to each other, but very soon you will see that there will be 30 percent people in the field.”
“They have been properly tested and allowed to enter the field. But I think it’s going to happen over time.”
Rajasthan Royals batsman Robin Uthappa believes that the tournament will woo cricket lovers a year after the game was postponed and canceled.
In a video posted on the official website of the IPL, Uthappa said, “Definitely, it’s going to be really special this year, because we’ve all gone as a human race.”
“I think in this unpredictable time, we were longing for normalcy and this tournament and game, in general, brings that feeling of normalcy back into our lives.”
– Coronavirus cases –
To reduce the number of people in the field, there will be no dancing cheerleaders.
Players will be sent to and from hotels under strict BCCI Health Protection Protocol. Officials said more than 20,000 coronovirus tests would be performed.
The tournament is already under scrutiny after two players tested positive for coronovirus. Many top players pulled hands in the build-up citing personal reasons.
The IPL is the most popular domestic league in the world, but since its inception in 2008 has been battling corruption and match-fixing cases.
In 2013, two teams – Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals – were suspended for two seasons due to spot-fixing scandal.
But with teams in the bio bubble, BCCI’s anti-corruption chief Ajit Singh told AFP last month that “it will not be very difficult to control the interaction between players and others”.
Despite the controversies, the IPL has attracted top foreign stars along with Australia’s Pat Cummins, the most expensive foreign player after he was bought at auction by Kolkata Knight Riders for $ 2.17 million.
There will also be Indian stars including the captain of Chennai in the headlines Mahendra Singh Dhoni And star batsman Virat Kohli, who will be looking for his first IPL title with Royal Challengers Bangalore.
Dhoni retired from international cricket last month but is one of the biggest attractions of the tournament.
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