IPL 2020: Indian Premier League is all set to kickstart its proceedings from 19th September 2020 and will continue until 10th November. The fray will be panned out in three locations namely Dubai, Sharjah, and Abu Dhabi.
There were earlier instances where IPL was played away from India where South Africa hosted the entire edition of the tournament in 2009 while UAE hosted the first 20 matches of 2014 after which the tournament returned to India.
Pitches are going to play a huge role in IPL 2020
This is for the first time that only three venues will be playing host to a staggering 60 games in a span of 53 days. The question is whether UAE’s pitches will be able to bear a load of such gruesome cricketing fixtures in IPL 2020or will they aggravate in weird ways to make life harder for the cricketers in the middle?
As the BCCI curator of 2014’s IPL decided to share his mind with others, he stated, “It’s not just the 60 matches, you will have to accommodate some practice matches too, even after factoring in other smaller grounds where practice games can be played. So, it will be some 70 matches across three venues in IPL 2020. That’s a lot.”
He also added, “The weather there is very harsh. There is a lot of dust accumulation and high clay content in the soil, so it’s difficult to produce a hard wicket there. You won’t get too many 200-plus scores.”
Taking a walk down the memory lane, it was found out that in the 20 matches played in UAE in 2014, there were 200 plus totals in the same match while nine 170 plus totals followed next. There were also twelve 160 plus totals, where the majority didn’t really augur well for the batsmen.
KKR’s support staff, Abhishek Nayar cited, “It’s true that every franchise picks teams based on home conditions during auctions. When that changes, it becomes challenging. When IPL is played at home, you play seven (away) games in conditions you are not used to; now you will play 14 such games in IPL 2020.”
He also said, “With the heat, you may see low scoring games in the latter half of the IPL. And if the nature of the wicket is slow, it’s very difficult to make it faster or flatter.”
Rohit Sharma laid out his argument too where he said, “Fair bit of grass on the wicket, there was a bit of bounce. Oddballs were stopping and coming so it wasn’t true.”
Chahal chipped in with his piece of mind that stated, “I got confidence seeing the first ball turn.”
Australian cricket commentator, Dean Jones also voiced his concern for the pitches as he stated, “The major concern for all the teams would be that with so much cricket being played on all three venues, the pitches will get tired and that’s only natural.”
He continued, “So, it might come down to who plays spin better. Some teams might pick three spinners and only two quicks. At the start, the pitches will be great to bat on but there is no doubt that they will get tired as the tournament goes on.”
The former head of BCCI’s pitch committee, Daljit Singh stated, “I have been to UAE, and one thing I observed they do wrong, is heavy rolling despite the hot weather. We should definitely have our curators to oversee pitch preparations.”
Vishwanathan’s conclusive argument was, “Once the tournament began, I was of not much help as there was a lot of travel between venues. All the work that needs to be done is between matches, not on match day. You don’t want someone using a heavy roller to kill the grass. A lot of man-management skills will be needed.”