New Delhi: The all-important Governing Council meeting of the Indian Premier League (IPL) is set to take place on Sunday. And all the eight franchises are eagerly awaiting the outcome of the meeting as they look to move into the final stages of preparations for the league to be played in the UAE this time round due to Covid-19 pandemic.
While IPL Chairman Brijesh Patel has already said that all minute details with regards to the conduct of the cash-rich league will be discussed in Sunday’s meeting, franchises have told IANS that the four major areas of focus for them are confirmation of the tournament and schedule, the Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) with an eye on the coronavirus, confirmation of availability of overseas players and finally the logistical plan with regards to family travel.
Confirmation of the tournament and schedule: While there have been talks here and there about the BCCI requesting the government for permission on the hosting of the league in the UAE and getting the necessary approvals, some of the franchises are still waiting for the final clearance before getting done with the visa and necessary travel plans. Also, on and off, there have been talks about an extension in the window of the league.
“We are yet to get the final word on the tournament which will then see us get our visas done. We need to understand in which category that we shall apply for visas. This is something that the BCCI will have to guide us with,” an official of a franchise said.
Another official said that there have been quite a few reports in the media about an extension of dates. “While we initially read that Patel had confirmed the September 19-November 8 window, there have been talks of having the final on November 10. So, we do need a final clarity along with an idea on the days we are getting between matches and which are the venues we are playing at,” the official explained.
Standard Operating Procedures: With an eye on the coronavirus pandemic, teams want a clear guideline on the dos and don’ts. “We are yet to get clarity when it comes to what is allowed inside the bio-bubble and what is not. If there will be more than one team in a hotel. How do we go about it if players want outside food and other things?
“We have quite a few questions and hopefully the answers will come with the GC meeting. Also, if the BCCI medical team will be the final word or the franchise medical teams will be in-charge of the respective teams,” a team official said.
Availability of foreign players: While England and Australia are expected to play a bilateral series till September 15, the West Indies players along with some of the foreign stars will be busy till September 10 with the Caribbean Premier League. Not to forget that South African players have their own problem as the increase in cases has seen the federal government restrict air travel. And so, franchises want a clarity on this matter.
Logistical planning with eye on family: Franchises are more or less convinced that the players deserve to have at least their immediate family with them for a short span of time through the 60-day period. Five franchises have told IANS that it would be a plus keeping in mind the interest of the players.
Points to ponder
•Confirmation of the tournament and schedule
•SOP with an eye on the coronavirus pandemic, teams want a clear guideline on the dos and don’ts
•Availability of foreign players
•On whether to allow or not the immediate family of players
We are yet to get clarity when it comes to what is allowed inside the bio-bubble and what is not. If there will be more than one team in a hotel. How do we go about it if players want outside food and other things? – A team official