New Delhi: The Indian Premier League’s Governing Council on Sunday decided to retain all its sponsors, including Chinese mobile company VIVO, and approved COVID-19 replacements in the event to be held in UAE this year.
The tournament will be played from September 19 to November 10, the IPL GC decided after a virtual meeting on Sunday.
“All I can say is that all our sponsors are with us. Hopefully you can read between the lines,” an IPL GC member told PTI on conditions of anonymity.
Chinese sponsorship became a bone of contention after the clashes between th thee Indian and Chinese troops in eastern Ladakh in June. The BCCI had promised to review the deals in the aftermath of the violent showdown.
It has also been decided that the evening matches will start at 7:30 pm, half an hour earlier than usual.
Jay Shah, the secretary of BCCI (Board of Control for Cricket in India) and Arun Dhumal, treasurer of BCCI did not attend the IPL’s governing council meeting.
“The tournament will run for 51 days, usually the IPL should go on for 49 days as per the constitution, however in the meeting it has been decided that we will go to Supreme Court for conducting the IPL in 51 days,” sources within the BCCI told ANI.
“As the tournament is running for 51 days, we will get the chance to play fewer doubleheaders, there would be just 10 double headers, evening matches will start at 7:30 and the afternoon matches will start at 3:30. The matches will be played across three venues at Abu Dhabi, Dubai, and Sharjah as travelling here by road is easier and bio-secure environment can be maintained,” he added.
In another major decision, the IPL GC also approved the women’s IPL, a development that was first reported by PTI after speaking to BCCI president Sourav Ganguly on Sunday.
“When it comes to women’s IPL, there would be four teams and the matches would be played at the time of playoffs for men’s IPL,” the source said.
Forced out of India due to the rising COVID-19 case count here, the IPL will allow unlimited COVID-19 replacements considering the delicate health safety situation across the globe.
“We expect the Home and External Affairs Ministry to give us necessary approvals within another week. The final will be played on November 10 as it enters the Diwali week making it lucrative for the broadcasters,” the IPL GC member said.
That the sponsorship deals will remain unaffected was reported by PTI on Saturday. It would have been difficult to get new sponsors for the Board at a short notice given the current financially difficult climate.
It is expected that the squad strength in terms of playing members will be 24 the eight franchises.
“Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) is still being prepared but there would be any number of COVID replacements this year.
“Also the BCCI has received presentations from a DUBAI based group on creating a medical facility in the UAE. The BCCI is also in talks with the Tata Group for creating a bio-bubble,” he said.