What should we expect to see in this year’s IPL?
We are only days after the start of the Indian Premier League kick-off, which was scheduled for September 19. The competition will last for 53 days, until November 10. It is the 13th edition of the league, and there are some significant differences caused by the Covid-19 pandemic since the IPL will take place in the United Arab Emirates. Also, the audience was used to the season kick-off in Aril, May, and June, but BCCI needed to postpone it this time due to unpredictable circumstances.
The return of the IPL – prediction for the interesting new season
BCCI announced on August 2 that the IPL would take place this year despite the Covid-19 pandemic, and it would be hosted in the UAE. It took just a few days until the government gave a green light and backed this idea. The fixtures of the competition were announced on September 6, and the new season was opened with the clash between Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings.
The last few months were pretty quiet around the sports industry, and fans were expecting some good news as they missed their favorite tournaments. In the beginning, the conditions were not encouraging at all, since major sporting events were canceled or postponed. However, as the most famous sporting events, such as the Champions League, Premier League, or the NBA found the way how to operate in these circumstances, it was a positive signal for the IPL fans. The upcoming season is also the opportunity for bettors to get back their favorite teams and put bets on their favorites. The start already heated up the things after the odds favorite for winning the IPL – Mumbai Indians lost their first game. However, if you enjoy such entertainment you must be very careful with such sites as authority in that field suggest checking the best betting sites in India first in order to prevent yourself from fraudsters. After the return of the IPL has been officially announced, that news was something that many were looking forward to. However, the stands will likely remain empty, although there are some plans to fill them up to 30 or 50%. Also, several standard procedures have been put in place to protect all the contesters from the virus.
Players, staff members, and officials will need to follow the rules and guidelines that have already been in place in other competitions that restarted after the lockdown. Everybody should avoid handshaking, sparring, or tackling in their training routine. Also, players need to use their water bottles, towel, and other equipment without sharing with anybody. Players should dress for the training in a hotel before leaving the room, and not in the locker rooms at the ground. Wearing a mask is mandatory all the time, except while training. During the training, players should also respect and keep the 2m social distance.
The coaches’ responsibility is also significant, as they would need to ask players if they are feeling well before and after the training and report any suspicious cases. Other staff members will also need to follow specific protocols, especially physios. Each team will be accommodated in a different hotel, and all members should follow strict protocols while they are using amenities.
Broadcasting & sponsorship
Since it is very likely that the crowd won’t be able to enter stadiums, broadcasting companies are expecting a significant increase in the audience that is going to watch the games in front of TV screens. Fans will have a few options since Star Sports Network is going to broadcast IPL 2020 on multiple network channels and in different languages, while Disney + Hotstar will stream all matches.
This year, the official name of the competition is Dream IPL 2020, after the main league sponsor Dream 11. They replaced VIVO, who was the main sponsor of the latest edition, while Unacademy also signed the partnership with IPL for the 2020 campaign.
Who are the hottest favorites?
It is not surprising at all that the most reputable bookmakers see Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings as the hottest favorites for clinching the title. These two sides won the latest three editions of the competition, while the Indians are the defending champions. The primary challengers should be Sunrisers Hyderabad and Delhi Capitals. All these sides have an excellent squad of players and good track of record in the previous editions of the IPL. Their captains are true leaders, and they put outstanding performances at home. However, this time, it may not be such a significant advantage as matches are going to be played behind closed doors.
Teams need to make a critical decision before the season kicks-off since they need to submit a 24-player squad. It means that one player will have to be left behind as the franchises’ squad size is 25. Teams like Kings XI Punjab and Rajasthan Royals will need to shorten their roster and leave one player out of the plane. However, if a player gets infected during the competition, they will have the chance to replace him.
An exciting campaign is ahead of us, we only hope that everything will run smoothly in terms of players’ safety so that we can focus and enjoy this wonderful sport.