Amid the on-going coronavirus pandemic, the cricket world also got adversely affected. Many major cricket tournaments including the T20 World Cup and the Indian Premier League (IPL) got indefinitely postponed.
It was recently that the cricketing governing council in India got permission from the government to stage the much-awaited IPL in the UAE. The tournament will kick-start on September 19 and the final will be played on November 8. However, this is still subject to government approval which is expected in the next couple of days.
BCCI has also decided to retain its entire sponsor, including Chinese mobile company VIVO, and have also approved COVID-19 substitutions in the tournament to be held in the UAE. There is Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) still being prepared and there would be any number of COVID-19 replacements this year.
Chinese sponsorship of the IPL was a lingering issue put to rest Sunday. It became a point of contention after violent clashes in east Ladakh in June between the Indian and Chinese troops. In the clash India lost 20 soldiers, causing uproar across the country after which the BCCI agreed to review the deals.
As the title sponsor of the IPL, VIVO pays approximately Rs 440 crore per year, a five-year contract that ends in 2022. With the current financially challenging situation, it would have been difficult for the Board to find new sponsors on short notice.
Another major decision that BCCI took on Sunday is that the IPL GC also approved the women’s IPL, a development first reported by PTI after speaking to BCCI president Sourav Ganguly on Sunday.
Forced out of India due to the increasing number of coronavirus positive cases, the IPL will allow unlimited COVID-19 replacements pertaining to the delicate situation of health safety around the globe.