The 13th edition of IPL finally kicks off on Saturday as Mumbai Indians will begin their title defence against Chennai Super Kings in Abu Dhabi. It would be one of the blockbuster games as two of the most successful teams in history gear up to oust one another. IPL chairman Brijesh Patel underlined that the viewership would be the maximum this year.
The initial starting date of the 2020 edition of IPL was of the 19th of March before getting postponed twice due to COVID-19 pandemic. The spread of the highly contagious disease all over the world and fatalities put the extravaganza highly in doubt. With the England Cricket Board (ECB) successfully conducting the home season by keeping the players in the bio-secure bubble, the BCCI did the same.
They also shifted the tournament from India to the UAE as the former is rapidly becoming the hotspot of COVID-19. Brijesh Patel said that it is highly satisfying to see the cash-rich league go ahead after plenty of hurdles; however, is against any complacency and emphasizing on following the guidelines. Patel is also glad for the fans, who were agitated at the tournament’s postponement and lack of clarity about whether it will take place this year. He backs this year to garner the highest viewership.
“It is very satisfying to see IPL happening after all the hurdles on the way. Finally, we are able to make it happen but this is only the beginning as it is a long tournament so we can not afford to be complacent but definitely, it is very satisfying. “I think cricket fans were bit disappointed when it was (IPL) postponed and nothing was certain about the fate for the tournament. But now they (fans) are looking forward to seeing some live cricket so I feel this year’s viewership will be highest ever and this year’s IPL should be bigger than last year as well,” Patel told ANI.
Brijesh Patel thanks the BCCI and the IPL officials as well:
Brijesh Patel credited the hard work of the BCCI and IPL officials, who put plenty of efforts to make it happen. He went on to thank the Indian government, who permitted them to stage the tournament overseas and ECB who supported them to conduct the competition in the UAE.
“It is also the hard work and patience of all our members in BCCI and IPL officials, they have put in a lot of hard work to make it happen. To start with, it was the Indian government who gave us the nod to host the IPL abroad and would also like to thank ECB, who willingly wanted to have IPL in UAE,” he added.