Abu Dhabi COVID-19 cases reason behind IPL 2020 schedule delay: Report

WION Web Team
New Delhi, India Updated: Aug 26, 2020, 02:50 PM(IST)

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Due to spike in COVID-19 cases in the UAE, there is confusion over the availability of Abu Dhabi and hence, there is a delay in IPL 2020 schedule. 

While all the franchises of Indian Premier League (IPL) 2020 has reached UAE, there is no announcement of the tournament schedule, which is set to start from September 19. While IPL Governing Council Chairman Brijesh Patel had earlier said that the schedule for IPL 2020 will be released by the end of the week, it looks like fans may have to wait a bit longer to get a hang of the fixture list.

According to a report in The Hindu, due to spike in COVID-19 cases in the UAE, there is confusion over the availability of Abu Dhabi and hence, there is a delay in IPL 2020 schedule. Abu Dhabi’s regional authorities have made rapid test mandatory at entry point which will see the broadcast crew and other officials shell out an additional AED 50. 

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A Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) team is in the UAE to make some final checks before locking onto the schedule and the Indian board is looking to find an immediate solution so that everyone is on the same page before the schedule is released. Reportedly, there are even talks of excluding Abu Dhabi as a venue and the latest development suggests the board may restrict the number of matches there.

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“It could be a case of two teams playing home and away games back to back, similar to 2011 ,” said an IPL insider. “As of now, Abu Dhabi could host a few matches only in the first half.”

Mumbai Indians and Kolkata Knight Riders are based in Abu Dhabi.

Earlier this week, BCCI’s Jay Shah wrote to state units that they won’t be able to attend “at least the beginning” of IPL 2020 due to strict bio-bubble protocols in place. However, the board is confident that during the business end of the tournament, members are likely to travel to the UAE if the travel restrictions are lifted.

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"While I am confident that we would be able to deliver a memorable tournament, I will be approaching the start of the tournament with a heavy heart as your absence would render the opening incomplete," BCCI secretary Shah wrote in an email to state units, which is in possession of PTI.

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