IPL to Start Indian’s Cricket Return
That brings us to the IPL. In what has come as a matter of immense relief to everyone associated with cricket in India, the event is finally set to take place between September and November in the United Arab Emirates.
For colleagues within the sports broadcasting industry, the IPL provides two months of work every year, and its postponement was a massive blow. Most of them have not earned any money for the last four months and are unlikely to, until the IPL begins. Savings have begun to run low and mental health has been a huge concern. So for them, and others like them who are associated with the league, this is nothing short of a godsend.
But while having the event is a welcome move, it will be a huge logistical task to set up a system in a different country. It is understood that the teams will be in charge of ferrying their players in – whether it be on charters or on commercial flights. Everyone will be tested before they leave for the event, and then also on arrival.
Most important, of course, is the fact that there are three international grounds within driving distance of each other. This would allow teams to operate from one central base, instead of having to shift hotels. If you stay in Dubai, Sharjah is only a half-hour drive (depending on traffic), while Abu Dhabi would be about 75 minutes away.
Of course, a league such as the IPL is a totally different beast from a bilateral series – for one thing, there are eight teams involved, rather than just two, and in the UAE there will be three television crews, instead of just one, which scales everything up dramatically.
Also, the franchises will have to find their own hotels and make their own travel arrangements, instead of a central body such as the ECB doing it for the bilateral series in England. To create a bio-secure bubble around eight teams as well as the organising team and broadcast crew will be a much larger task, but if any event can achieve this, it is the IPL, which has already shown immense adaptability when shifting the event away twice before. Of course, at that time, the situation was not complicated by a pandemic!