The BCCI and the Emirates Cricket Board will work closely together in the next few weeks as they try to get all of the necessary arrangements in place to host the 2020 IPL. The richest T20 tournament in the world is schedule to run from September 19 to November 8.
India will send over 30 players to the UAE in August to enable them to go through a 4 week training program to prepare them for the IPL. This will be a critical camp for Indian players as they have not had any practice or net sessions during the last four months due to the coronavirus.
Status Of Overseas Players
One of the reasons why the IPL is so successful is because it brings in all of the top international players from around the world. The reason the BCCI was able to proceed with the 2020 IPL in September was because the ICC decided to cancel the T20 World Cup that was scheduled to take place in Australia. This gap in the cricketing calendar should enable overseas players to take part in the 2020 IPL.
IPL fans will be keen to see all of the top foreign players take part in the full IPL but it looks like this is going to be a difficult task for the following reasons.
England And Aussie Players To Miss First Week
Australia players form a strong contingent of the combined list of foreign players in the IPL and England is not far behind. As many as 17 players from Australia and 11 players from England are contracted for this IPL. However, with the current scheduling it looks like most of the top Aussie and English players will not be able to attend the first week of the IPL.
This is because the two sides are scheduled to play an ODI series where the third and final ODI will take place on September 16 in England. Players who are contracted to the IPL are scheduled to fly out of England on the same day and some on the next day. Their flights will leave from London and go directly to Dubai.
However, due to the coronavirus they will not be able to start training and playing immediately. They will have to go through a testing and quarantine process before getting clearance to join the IPL. When players touchdown in Dubai, they will be subjected to a COVID-19 test and the results will be made available after 48 to 72 hours. I
If they test negative, they will be able to join their squads in 7 to 10 days as per the standard operating procedures issued by the BCCI. If they test positive, then it is quite likely that they could be out for a long period of time as it will depend on how fast be cleared of COVID and how fast they can recover to full fitness.
South African Players Face Hurdles In Flying Out
South African players also make up a strong contingent of foreign players in the IPL. Cricket South Africa (CSA) was quick to issue no objection certificates to all of their players who are contracted to play in the 2020 IPL.
South Africa is facing a big challenge with the number of COVID-19 cases and has very strict travel restrictions in place. The Caribbean Premier League (CPL) is feeling the pressure as the CPL is scheduled to start on August 18 and a number of South African players could very well miss out due to these travel restrictions which prevent them from leaving the country.
CSA has made it clear that from their side they have done what was required and issued the NOCs. However, getting approval to fly out of the country is not something that CSA can approve as this involves the South African government. Whether things will change in the next 3 to 4 weeks or whether the BCCI can work with the South African government and charter a special plane for South African players remains to be seen.
One thing is for certain though! If there is limited or no participation from the likes of AB Devilliers, David Warner, Ben Stokes, Jos Butler and Eoin Morgan, then the 2020 IPL will definitely lose some of its shine and excitement.