The 13th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) will finally get underway on the 19th of September after plenty of stutters. The UAE will stage the entire leg of the tournament after playing as hosts for the initial phase of the season six years ago. Ahead of the extravaganza, all the umpires, referees have successfully passed the COVID-19 tests.
Earlier this month, 13 personnel of Chennai Super Kings tested positive for the deadly virus, out of which two Indian players were present. It forced the franchise to extend the quarantine period that also postponed the beginning of their practice sessions. Gradually, the situation stabilised for the three-time champions, enabling them to resume training.
The 20 match officials underwent the mandatory COVID-19 tests as per the local government’s requirement of the three venues – Sharjah, Abu Dhabi, and Dubai, where 56 league games will take place till the 3rd of November. Four warm-up matches would also be held apart from the final on the 10th. It would come as a massive relief to the BCCI, particularly after the pathogen hurt the CSK camp.
An IPL source provides further insight on the base of the umpires:
A representative of the IPL underlined that the COVID-19 protocols are the strictest in the UAE amongst other emirates. It is the reason why a set of umpires and referees would be based there. Furthermore, the absence of travel restrictions between Dubai and Sharjah allows the officials stationed in Dubai will officiate at games in both the cities.
“Since the Covid-19 protocols in Abu Dhabi are the strictest of the three emirates, a set of umpires and referees will be permanently based there. And because there are no travel restrictions between Dubai and Sharjah, the officials stationed in Dubai will do games at both places; it will be a mix-and-match policy,” the source told IANS.
The 12 Indian umpires are Anil Chaudhary, C. Shamshuddin, Virender Sharma, K.N. Ananthapadmanabhan, Nitin Menon, S. Ravi, Vineet Kulkarni, Yashwant Barde, Ulhas Gandhe, Anil Dandekar, K Srinivasan, and Pashchim Pathak. The overseas umpires are Richard Illingworth of England, former Australian seam-bowling all-rounder Paul Reiffel, and Christopher Gaffaney of New Zealand.