Dates confirmed for the longest ever IPL
Officials announce the T20 tournament will be held in the UAE, while India are also planning for the women's event to go ahead in November
3 August 2020, 07:06 AM AEST
The dates for the longest ever Indian Premier League have officially been announced, with the T20 tournament to be held in the UAE from September 19 to November 10.
The 53-day event will see matches played in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah, with plans to hold the rescheduled tournament in India ruined by the rising number of COVID-19 infections in the country.
This year’s IPL was originally postponed in April due to the outbreak of the global pandemic.
The tournament is three days longer than last season and the longest ever, and the news is confirmation that the tournament will clash with the start of the Australian domestic season.
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) have also announced their plans for the rescheduled Women’s T20 Challenge to go ahead in early November, which would see the three-team event be played alongside the finals of the men's competition.
Those dates clash with the Rebel Women’s Big Bash League in Australia, which will be played between October 17 and November 29, and the news drew sharp criticism from a handful of Australia's leading players on social media.
I have no words for this..— Jessica Jonassen (@JJonassen21) August 2, 2020
Agree. If true, it’s a shame... while the game continues to grow, premier domestic competitions do not need to compete against each other. They can be used to showcase the game and support its development around the world.— Rachael Haynes (@RachaelHaynes) August 2, 2020
And how sad that would be for our game considering how fantastic the wbbl is for the internationals who play in it (and for us). Would be a sad move for our sport.— Alyssa Healy (@ahealy77) August 2, 2020
So the Indian players who’ve already signed wbbl contracts will do what? And all the international marquee players that will be in aus for wbbl? Good luck with it.....— Alyssa Healy (@ahealy77) August 2, 2020
Confirmation of the dates for the men's tournament means the 17 Australians who hold IPL contracts will need No Objection Certificates (NOCs) from Cricket Australia to play in the tournament, or they can opt to stay in Australia and represent their state sides.
Under ICC regulations, players require a NOC from their home board before they are able to take part in a domestic competition staged overseas. An NOC can be issued be for all or part of the tournament, and there is precedent for players leaving the tournament early for international duty.
CA is yet to release fixtures for the domestic summer, with the Marsh One-Day Cup and Marsh Sheffield Shield competitions typically starting in September and October respectively.
How those competitions proceed in light of the health and border restrictions associated with the ongoing pandemic remains to be seen.
Australia's first international of the home summer is the scheduled Test against Afghanistan on November 21-25.
The timing of the IPL season is also serendipitous for Australia's internationals, with a six-match limited overs series in the UK reportedly to wind up by September 16. It is expected that three T20s will be followed by three ODIs.
The BCCI have also approved the use of unlimited COVID-19 substitutes for the men's tournament, while squads will be restricted to a maximum of 24 players.
Cricket officials in the UAE, where the virus has largely been suppressed, have expressed optimism that matches can be played in front of half-full stadiums, but the early stages of the tournament will reportedly be played with no spectators.
Part of the 2014 tournament, which coincided with national elections in India, was also held in the UAE.