Putting all the speculations to bed, BCCI treasurer Arun Dhumal, on Wednesday, made it clear that the Indian Premier League (IPL) would begin as scheduled in UAE. The thirteenth edition of the tournament is scheduled to be played from September 19.
However, there were some doubts over the starting date after 13 members including two players of the Chennai Super Kings camp tested positive for the dreaded coronavirus. At present, the entire team is in quarantine and is yet to start training while the other seven teams have already started their preparations for IPL
The recent turn of events led to speculation that the tournament might be postponed, depending on the COVID-19 situation in the UAE. However, Dhumal said that everything was fine now in the UAE and the event would take place as planned.
“They all [CSK members] have come negative now. And the IPL will take place as scheduled; there is no doubt about that. Don’t worry, players are following the COVID-19 protocols and matches will be played without spectators. So, I don’t think there will be any problem with that,” Dhumal said.
The delay in announcement of the schedule further increased the doubts. With just over 15 days left for the competition to start, BCCI is yet to announce the full schedule. When asked about it, the BCCI treasurer said the Board is in talks with the Emirates Cricket Board (ECB), “and hopefully the announcement will be made soon”.
“IPL Chairman Brijesh Patel is also there in the UAE and he is working on it. The ECB is helping us in all the way possible. Just hope for the best,” he added.
Meanwhile, defending champions Mumbai Indians could lock horns against Sunrisers Hyderabad in the opening game of the tournament. While Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings were set to play the tournament opener, the BCCI could replace Super Kings with Sunrisers after the COVID-19 mess.