IPL 2020: The coronavirus pandemic, matches being held behind closed doors and the precedent set in 2019, means there would be no opening ceremony on September 19 before the first ball is bowled
The 13th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) is set to begin on September 19 with the Chennai Super Kings taking on defending champions Mumbai Indians at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi.
However, unlike most of the previous seasons, IPL 2020 will begin sans an opening ceremony. In 2019, the IPL Governing Council and the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) had decided to not hold the ceremony in wake of the Pulwama terror attack. Instead, the organisers had decided to donate the fund to families of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel, who lost their lives in the terror attack. “We will not have any inaugural function for the IPL and the money budgeted for that goes to the martyrs’ families,” then Committee of Administrators (CoA) chairman Vinod Rai had said.
The fact that the tournament is happening in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) begin closed doors and without fans amid the novel coronavirus pandemic, is another reason why there will not be an opening ceremony today. This edition of the IPL will also not feature cheerleaders for the same reasons.
Organisers, however, are confident that fans would be able to watch the matches from the stadiums at a later stage of the Twenty20 tournament that concludes on November 10.
Read more | IPL 2020: Check the full schedule of matches
The season was first supposed to be played in March-May 2020, but was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. All eight IPL teams and the organisers are in a ‘bio-bubble’ to minimise the risk of infection.
There will be 10 double headers, with the first match starting at 3.30 pm IST and the second 7.30 pm. In all, 24 matches will be held in Dubai, 20 in Abu Dhabi and 12 in Sharjah. Venues for the playoffs and the IPL 2020 Final will be announced later.Follow Moneycontrol’s full coverage of IPL 2020 here