Puppeteer

Will Match Fixers Will Use Social Media To Fix 2020 IPL?

The BCCI has somehow managed to schedule the 2020 IPL amid the on-going coronavirus pandemic. The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is set to host the 2020 IPL from Sep 19 to Nov 10 across stadiums in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, and Sharjah.

The IPL is the richest cricketing domestic T20 tournament in the world and continues to attract match-fixers like bees to honey. The IPL over the years has had its fair share of match-fixing incidents, which resulted in the suspension of both cricketers and IPL franchises Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals.

IPL and UAE Great Combination For Match Fixing

The UAE has also been a hotbed for match-fixing over the years as the notorious don Dawood Ibrahim has used the UAE as his base for many years and allegedly ran one of the biggest match-fixing rackets in the UAE and around the world.

There have been numerous warrants out for Dawood Ibrahim’s arrest, but he has managed to avoid the authorities and keep out of the limelight in recent times. However, rumors suggest that Ibrahim continues to run his crime syndicate and is actively involved in getting his soldiers to fix games.

Bringing the IPL to the UAE is a positive for the BCCI. If the 2020 IPL was canceled, the BCCI would have lost close to $500 million in revenue. However, bringing the IPL to the UAE also sets the stage for match-fixers to get a lot closer to the players and tempt them with big money.

BCCI ACU Says Bio-Bubble Will Help

The BCCI Anti-Corruption Unit (ACU) will have their hands full during the 2020 IPL as they are fully aware that there will be attempts to fix games throughout the IPL. Ajit Singh, who heads the BCCI ACU, is aware of the match-fixing threat but believes that due to the bio-bubble, the threat will significantly reduce.

The IPL governing body will look to create a bio-bubble similar to what the NFL and NBA have done in America for their leagues. The IPL will create three bio-bubbles in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, and Sharjah, where players, coaches, and support staff will not be allowed to exit their bubbles throughout the IPL.

The reason for the bio-bubble is to restrict access and exposure to individuals who are not part of the IPL setup. The bio-bubble is expected to keep players and staff a lot more secure from being exposed to the coronavirus. This restricted access within the bio-bubble is what the ACU is banking on to reduce the exposure to match-fixers as unknown individuals will not be allowed to enter the bubble.

Social Media Will Be Monitored

Singh believes the main access that match-fixers will have to IPL players will be via social media. Since unknown individuals will not be able to enter the bio-bubble, match-fixers will have to take the social media route to gain access to players. The ACU has confirmed that it will be keeping a close watch on all digital interactions of the players during the 2020 IPL.

Since the players are going to be confined to their hotel rooms most of the time, you can expect IPL players to be spending a lot more time on their social media accounts. The ACU will once again be providing players with social media education and letting them know how easy it is for an ‘innocent fan’ to approach them with an ‘offer’ suddenly.

The ACU will also have its work cut out as the team will be keeping a close watch on all betting markets to see if there is any unusual activity on IPL games. This is one clear way to find out if anything fishy is taking place.

Each IPL Team Gets 2 Liaison Officers

After the IPL match-fixing scandal in 2013, each IPL franchise was given an integrity officer who was responsible for vetting, who the players met during the IPL. The integrity officer would report any suspicious incidents to the ACU.

There will be no integrity officer during the 2020 IPL since players will be in the bio-bubble. The ACU has decided to have 2 security liaison officers for each IPL franchise who will stay at the team hotel and also travel together with the team for training practices and on match days. Singh confirmed that his ACU teams are well prepared and equipped to ensure that the 2020 IPL is free from match-fixing. They are so confident that they have declined to have any help from the ICC ACU team.

Vivo Cancels Sponsorship

IPL Struggling To Find Main Sponsor As Jio Declines

The IPL is the richest domestic T20 league in the world and watched by over a billion cricket fans predominantly in India but also around the world. There has always been a lot of competition to secure sponsorship rights of the IPL and the BCCI has made millions of dollars over the years via its IPL sponsorship contract.

VIVO Dumps BCCI

The Indian public called on the BCCI earlier this year to review its sponsorship ties with Chinese companies based on the fallout between India and China that resulted in the death of Indian soldiers. The BCCI yielded to that pressure because the main sponsor of the IPL was Chinese phone manufacturer Vivo.

Vivo had paid a whopping 240 crore rupees to the BCCI in 2018 to secure a 5-year deal from 2018 to 2022. The BCCI wasn’t very keen on dropping Vivo as its main title sponsor and pacified the Indian public by saying that it would review its entire list of Chinese sponsors once their contracts were over. The BCCI would later go on to confirm that Vivo would continue to be the main sponsor for the 2020 IPL which is scheduled to take place in the UAE from Sep 19 to Nov 10.

However, just a couple of days after the BCCI confirmed this news, Vivo made a surprising announcement and confirmed that it would no longer sponsor the IPL. The Chinese company was also facing social media pressure in China about sponsoring Indian sporting leagues. As a result, Vivo decided to opt-out of sponsoring the 2020 IPL. Vivo also terminated its sponsorship ties with the Pro Kabaddi League in India and popular reality TV show Bigg Boss.

BCCI Struggling To Find New Sponsor

Vivo’s sudden decision to not sponsor the 2020 IPL has been a slap in the face for the BCCI because it showed the Indian public that the BCCI put finances over the nation and backed its Chinese sponsor, but the Chinese sponsor put China over its finances and pulled out.

The BCCI is now desperately looking to find a main sponsor for 2020, and time to do so is limited. There will normally be no shortage of sponsors for the IPL, but market conditions are not great due to COVID-19, and hence it is not easy for the BCCI to find a sponsor who is willing to pay similar money to what Vivo was paying.

To put things in perspective, DLF sponsored the first 5 years of the IPL and paid 40 crore rupees per year. PepsiCo took up the sponsorship role for the next 5 years and ended up paying double the price at 80 crores per year. PepsiCO exited after 4 years and Vivo came on the scene paying the same price as PepsiCO.

The BCCI signed a massive 5 year deal with Vivo for the 2018 to 2022 contract by paying 440 crores per year which none of the other sponsors could match. Now that Vivo has backed out, the BCCI not only needs to find a sponsor who can pay the same amount but also find a company that is willing to pour in so much cash with a COVID-19 impacted market.

Jio Backs Out

Reports suggest that the BCCI has reached out to Mukesh Ambani’s Jio to see if they will step in and take Vivo’s place, but a representative of the Mumbai Indians (which is owned by Mukesh Ambani) claimed that Jio was not interested in being the main IPL sponsor at this point.

The BCCI has also put out feelers to a number of its other sponsors to see if any of them would be interested in being the IPL main sponsor. Companies like Tata Motors and Dream11 who are associated partners of the IPL were not interested nor was PayTM who sponsors all home series games.

Will Amazon Step Up?

With the 2020 IPL fast approaching, the pressure is on the BCCI to sign a sponsor quickly. Amazon might be the only company at this point who has the money to be able to step up and secure sponsorship rights. The question is, will Amazon step up and will they be willing to pay the same amount as Vivo? There are also rumours that the BCCI might not sign a main sponsor for the 2020 IPL and absorb the financial fallout and get Vivo back again in 2021. We will have to wait for another week or two to see how it all plays out.

Cricket Field

BCCI Releases 100 Page SOP For 2020 IPL in UAE

The BCCI brass spent a long time deliberating and putting together the standard operating procedures (SOPs) that will need to be followed during the 2020 IPL in the UAE. The BCCI got together on 02 August and released a detailed SOP that IPL franchises and teams will need to follow at all times. The 2020 IPL is scheduled to take place from 19 Sep to November 10.

2020 IPL – Match Schedule

IPL fans will be interested to know that the 2020 IPL will be the longest in the history of the 8-team format. This IPL edition will last for 53 days and 10 of these days will feature double header matches. The tournament organizers have tried not to schedule too many double headers because the afternoon games will be played in intense heat in Abu Dhabi, Sharjah and Dubai.

The night games are scheduled to take place from 7.30 pm IST which is 6 pm UAE time and the afternoon games will take place from 3.30 IST which is at 2 pm UAE time. The first stage of the IPL will be played in empty stadiums but the second stage of the IPL could see fans in attendance as the Emirates Cricket Board (ECB) is keen on filling the stadiums to atleast 50 percent capacity.

The SOP has confirmed that IPL franchises will be able to tour with a max of 24 players per squad. There will also be an unlimited number of COVID-19 substitutes allowed. The 24 limit player squad could pose a challenge for three IPL franchises (Rajasthan Royals, Sunrisers Hyderabad and Kings XI Punjab) as all of them have listed a 25 member squad on their websites.

IPL Will Continue With Vivo As Main Sponsor

The on-going tensions between India and China have resulted in a push for Indian companies to sever ties Chinese companies and for Indians to stop using Chinese branded products. The Indian government banned over 50 Chinese apps from being used in India including the popular TikTok app.

The BCCI also decided to look into its sponsorship deals given the fact that its chief sponsor VIVO which is a Chinese mobile company. Given the fact that the BCCI gets handsomely paid by VIVO for its sponsorship contract, the BCCI has decided to continue to allow VIVO to be the main sponsor for the 2020 VIVO IPL.

This does not come as a surprise as the BCCI would have lost millions of dollars and also been taken to court if it decided to severe ties with VIVO before its sponsorship contract came to an end. The BCCI has promised to relook at things once the contract is finished.

Key Points In The IPL SOP

The IPL SOP has a lot of rules and regulations to ensure player safety and well-being. The SOP makes it clear to IPL franchises and players that despite all of the SOPs there is risk involved in playing the 2020 IPL and it will be up to each individual to accept this risk and sign a consent form.

The BCCI is looking to create a bio-bubble in the UAE similar to what the NBA is doing in Florida, USA. Once players enter the bio-bubble they will not be able to leave the bubble until the IPL is finished.

Strict regulations and protocols will have to be followed at all times in the bio-bubble not only by the players but also by the support staff, IPL commentators and everyone involved in the 2020 IPL. The BCCI will also work with the ECB to ensure that all hotel staff and restaurant staff are COVID-19 negative before they interact with IPL players and staff.

Wives and girlfriends (WAGs) are usually part of each IPL edition but this time around the BCCI is not very keen on having the WAGs on tour. The BCCI will discuss the same with each IPL franchise as it will be up to each IPL franchise to ensure the safety and protection of the WAGs.

Discussion With IPL Franchises

The BCCI and IPL governing body will meet with IPL franchises to discuss the SOPs in detail as IPL franchises are bound to have a long list of questions regarding the SOPs. Once the BCCI clarifies all of these questions, the IPL franchises will then have to download the same to their players. We must also point out that the BCCI is yet to get official approval from the central government to proceed with the 2020 IPL in the UAE. However, this appears to be a formality given the strong political ties that the BCCI has with the ruling government.

Cricket Betting

Are The Selectors Biased When Selecting U-19 Players?

The only celebrities that are bigger than Bollywood celebrities in India are cricket players. They not only hog the limelight but also make loads of money once they start playing for India and get a good IPL contract.

This is one of the reasons why parents all over India encourage their sons and now even their daughters to play cricket when it comes to choosing a post. However, with over 1.3 billion people in the land, making it through the district level and representing your state team can be quite a daunting task.

A recent debate has surged on social media as to whether nepotism is prevalent in Indian cricket. For many years there have been suggestions that nepotism is present in the Bollywood industry as certain families who have a famous last name appear to get preferential treatment. Their children seem to get more opportunities to break into the movie industry solely based on their last name rather than their acting abilities.

There is a large section of Indian cricket fans who feel that nepotism is prevalent in Indian cricket as well, as the selectors are showing favoritism to young cricketers who have a famous last name.

Fans Question The Selection Of Arjun Tendulkar

Sachin Tendulkar changed the face of Indian cricket as he dominated the sport for nearly two decades. He was, and could still probably be, the best batsman that India produced and was worshipped by Indian cricket fans when he was at his peak.

Tendulkar, who was fondly referred to as the Master Blaster, has since retired and generally makes an appearance when the IPL is being played as he mentors the Mumbai Indians franchise. Sachin’s son Arjun Tendulkar also decided to play cricket but unlike his father who was a pure batsmen who could bowl a few overs, Arjun is primarily a bowler who can also bat.

Arjun Tendulkar’s selection for Mumbai has now come under close scrutiny, probably because there is no cricket action happening and journalists have the time to do some in-depth research. A debate has raged on social media over the past few days claiming that Arjun Tendulkar should not have been selected over other individuals who had performed and had better stats that Tendulkar.

The debate mentioned a young man named Pranav Dhanwade who was the son of an auto-rickshaw driver. Dhanwade created quite a few records when he notched up a massive 1009 runs in 327 balls as he took the opposition apart. However, he was ignored by the selectors even after such an impressive knock. On the other hand, Arjun, who does not have any outstanding stats, was selected.

This has given rise to the nepotism debate as fans have claimed that Arjun is getting special treatment because he the son of Sachin Tendulkar.

Aakash Chopra Plays Down Nepotism Angle

Former cricketer turned commentator Aakash Chopra played down the nepotism factor claiming that fans shouldn’t get emotional just by looking at a few stats but should take the big picture into consideration.

Chopra said that Arjun Tendulkar had a lot more exposure at international level as he has bowled to the England cricket team in the nets on a few occasions. He also bowled in the nets to the Indian women’s cricket team when they were preparing for the 2017 World Cup final.

Chopra pointed out that while Pranav Dhanwade’s knock on paper did look very impressive; it came against a very weak bowling attack. Chopra also pointed out that if nepotism was so prevalent in India cricket, then Rohan Gavaskar would have played a lot more for India as he was the son of the great Sunil Gavaskar.

Nepotism Angle Will Not Go Away Soon

Chopra makes a good argument but most Indian fans are not buying it as they realize how powerful the BCCI is and that big names do carry weight in the selection committee. There are some fans who believe that players like Rohan Gavaskar and Stuart Binny should not have represented India for as many games as they did but they got a few more chances because of their last name and what their father’s did for Indian cricket.

It will be interesting to see if Arjun Tendulkar secures as IPL contract in the next couple of years as that will certain ignite the nepotism debate in Indian cricket even further.

Cricket Franchise

Factors That Determine Which Is IPL’s Most Popular Franchise

The Indian Premier League (IPL) has been around for the last 12 years and has established itself as the richest T20 domestic premier league in the world. The IPL has a massive fan following both in India and overseas as the IPL features a mix of domestic players, rising stars and some of the top international cricket stars.

The IPL always has packed stadiums as fans show up in the thousands to support their franchises. There are 8 IPL franchises that take part every season and some of them are more popular than their counterparts. We take a look at the different factors that determine the popularity of each IPL franchise.

Championship Record  

The IPL is a closely contested T20 competition but over the years, a few teams have emerged as favorites because of their ability to win regularly and win under pressure. The IPL franchises that have won most IPL championships tend to be very popular because Indian fans love to support a winning team.

When we look at the 12 year history of the IPL, we find that the Mumbai Indians have won 4 IPL championships, Chennai Super Kings (CSK) come in second with 3 IPL championships and the Kolkata Knight Riders have won 2 IPL championships. However, CSK has made it to the IPL finals more often than any other team as they have ended up losing as 5 IPL championship finals. That really puts CSK ahead as they have been the more dominant team in terms of beating the rest of the IPL teams.

Star Power

Cricket stars are as big as movie stars in India and some might argue that they are even more popular that film stars. The IPL franchises that tend to draw a huge fan following tend to be franchises that have a lot of star power. The Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) is a good example of this. RCB have never won an IPL championship and in most IPL editions have played rather poorly.

However, they continue to be a fan favorite because they have always had a great line-up of stars. RCB is currently led by Indian captain Virat Kohli who is the biggest star in Indian cricket. Chris Gayle, AB Devilliers, Dale Steyn, Mitchell Starc and Muttiah Muralitharan have all represented the franchise.

CSK and Mumbai Indians outmuscle the rest of the teams as they have spent huge money to get the very best in the business. CSK has always had MS Dhoni as their captain and have had the likes of Matthew Hayden, Michael Hussey, Dwayne Bravo, Faf du Plessis, Suresh Raina and R Ashwin over the years.

The Mumbai Indians had Sachin Tendulkar first as a player and then as a coach. They are captained by Indian vice-captain Rohit Sharma and have had the likes of L Malinga, Kieron Pollard, H Pandya and Mitchell Johnson represent them.

The smaller franchises may not have huge star power in their players but their owners bring in the fans. Bollywood divas Preity Zinta and Shilpa Shetty own Kings XI Punjab and Rajasthan Royals while superstar Shah Rukh Khan owns KKR.

Social Media Following

Indian fans cannot get enough of the IPL and the players on the field and TV screens. They follow their favorite IPL franchises and players on social media which include Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. IPL franchise and IPL players have focused on growing their social media following with every edition of the IPL.

The Mumbai Indians and CSK once again dominate social media following with the Mumbai Indians showing 13.2 million Facebook fans, 4.4 million Instagram fans and 5.4 million Twitter fans while CSK has 12.5 million Facebook fans, 4.3 million Instagram fans and 5.4 million Twitter fans. KKR and RCB come in third and fourth while Rajasthan Royals is at the bottom of the list in terms of social media followings.

Market Size

One of the reasons why teams like Mumbai Indians and CSK tend to be at the top of the list in terms of popularity is because of market size. Smaller teams like the Rajasthan Royals and Kings XI Punjab have less of a fan following than metro cities like Mumbai, Chennai and Bengaluru.

Conclusion: The two most popular IPL franchise based on these factors are CSK and Mumbai Indians with CSK have a slight edge over Mumbai for now. However, Mumbai could very well surge ahead once MS Dhoni retires from IPL cricket.

Cricket Batter

We Analyse Whether The Extended Rest Will Help or Hurt India’s Top Cricketers

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is the richest cricketing body in the world because the Indian market is very lucrative and it is also why the Indian cricket team has been playing non-stop cricket for so many years.

Rest Good For Mental Health

The hectic cricketing schedule has taken its toll on the mental health of a number of cricketers over the years. English cricketers Marcus Trescothick and Jonathan Trott could not cope with the stress of playing so many games away from home. Australian cricketer Glenn Maxwell came out in 2019 and asked for a break from cricket citing mental health issues.

However, you will not find any Indian players complaining about mental health issues. This is not because Indian players do not have any mental health issues but because of the stigma and consequences associated with taking a break from the game. Indian players know that if they decide to take a break, there is always another player ready to take their place and they know that it will be very difficult to get back into the thick of things!

Players also have a complex that they will be viewed as mentally weak and not being able to cope with the pressures of being a cricketer. This is why they prefer to suck it up, keep silent and continue to play a hectic schedule.

With the 2020 IPL being postponed, Indian cricketers have not played any cricket for over 5 weeks. Since India continues to be in lockdown mode, players have not been able to go to the gym or have a practice session in the nets. The extended break should benefit the core group of players that play ODIs, T20s and Test cricket.

However, the extended break may not be good for all Indian cricketers especially those on the fringes and domestic cricketers in general. This is because many of these cricketers were looking forward to the 2020 IPL to bring in a decent pay check and also impress the selectors.

With no confirmation on whether the IPL will take place this year, many cricketers will be anxious about their cricketing future and also their finances as the IPL tends to pay young talent fantastically well!

Rest Not So Good For Fast Bowlers

There is a common belief amongst fast bowlers from yesteryears that fast bowlers must bowl even during the offseason to keep themselves like a well-oiled machine. The extended rest has made it impossible for Indian fast bowlers to even exercise, let alone send down a few overs in the nets.

The spinners will not be impacted as much as the fast bowlers because there is a greater demand placed on the body and rhythm of a fast bowler. Fast bowling is all about rhythm and the extended rest will make it difficult for the likes of Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami, Ishant Sharma and Umesh Yadav to hit their straps when cricket resumes.

When a fast bowler does not have enough overs sent down during the off season and is rushed back into international cricket, they tend to break down quicker and suffer serious injuries. It will be up to head coach Ravi Shastri and the Indian think tank to work out a proper schedule of how to get the fast bowlers back to speed!

Rest Should Benefit The Batsmen

While the extended rest will hurt the fast bowlers, it should benefit the batsmen – at least most batsmen. The reason we cannot generalize is because some batsmen prefer to spend a lot of time in the nets to get their hand-eye coordination going. The lack of net practice will hurt batsmen who fall into this mould.

However, there are a few batsmen who need a break from cricket to get over that poor patch of form. Some of these batsmen include young Rishabh Pant, test vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane and Indian captain Virat Kohli. The break from cricket will help them start with a clean slate and will also have them hungry to score more runs!

Fitness Concerns

One of the biggest concerns that the Indian management will have to address is measuring the fitness of the core group of players. A lack of exercise, no access to the gym, no net sessions and being locked at home with access to home cooked food 24×7 might have gotten the better of some cricketers who might have let their fitness standards drop.

If cricket can resume in the next couple of weeks, the rest will have more benefits than harm in general. However, if cricket is pushed back for another month or two, then the rest will do more harm than good for India’s cricketers!

Cricket Field

MS Dhoni Might Be Forced Into Retirement If 2020 IPL Does Not Take Place

MS Dhoni was the center of Indian cricket for over a decade as he captained India to a T20 World Cup championship and an ICC ODI World Cup championship. Captain Marvel slowly started fading from the limelight once he relinquished the captaincy to Virat Kohli and has now been out of the public domain for close to a year.

MS Dhoni Disappears From International Cricket

When India lost the semi-final of the ICC World Cup in May 2019, MS Dhoni was expected to announce his retirement from the ODI game and play only T20s going forward. Dhoni has achieved everything there is to achieve in the ODI format. His fans expected him to keep going and play the T20 World Cup in October 2020 and then say goodbye.

MS Dhoni did not announce his retirement after the World Cup loss in 2019 nor did he divulge any of his plans to the public even though the media kept hounding him about his cricketing future. Instead, MS Dhoni asked the BCCI for a break from cricket and just went off the grid. He stopped playing both ODI and T20 cricket and made himself unavailable for selection.

The pressure to find out what MS Dhoni was going to do next got so intense that the Sourav Ganguly who was not yet BCCI President at that time said it was up to the BCCI to have a chit-chat with Dhoni and find out what his plans for the future was.

Ganguly is now the BCCI President but there has still been no confirmation as to what MS Dhoni’s plans to do next.

IPL 2020 Was Dhoni’s Chance To Shine

Head coach Ravi Shastri told the media that MS Dhoni was still part of the team’s T20 World Cup plans in Australia as they could not afford to overlook a player with his experience and caliber. Shastri said that although MS Dhoni has not played any international cricket, the 2020 IPL would be a great platform for Dhoni to show the selectors that he still has what it takes to play in the World Cup.

MS Dhoni has captained the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) franchise from the first edition of the IPL and has had massive success with CSK winning three IPL tournaments. CSK along with the Mumbai Indians are considered to be two of the most successful IPL franchises.

MS Dhoni was in the news in early March when he once again surfaced in Chennai to be a part of the CSK IPL camp. However, the COVID-19 pandemic brought things to an abrupt halt as the BCCI decided to postpone the IPL and CSK decided to dis-band their camp. MS Dhoni went back to his hometown of Ranchi and once again vanished from the public’s eye.

Will The Selectors Back MSD?

The BCCI is yet to make a decision on whether the 2020 IPL will be cancelled. They will wait till the end of April before making a decision. Should the 2020 IPL be cancelled, MS Dhoni will then not have any role to play in swaying the selectors over his selection for the T20 World Cup later this year.

The decision to select or drop MS Dhoni will be left up to chief selector Sunil Joshi and his panel. This will be a key decision for the selectors as the BCCI has now made the selectors accountable for the performance of the Indian team. What this means is that the selectors can no longer afford to let their emotions or MS Dhoni’s past achievements dictate whether he makes the team or not.

The selectors will have to look at the candidates vying for the wicket-keeper role and decide if MS Dhoni is their first choice or second choice. Rishabh Pant has had the most of the opportunities in MS Dhoni’s absence and will clearly be a front runner for the position given the fact that he is young and is a dynamic player in the T20 format. MS Dhoni should be the number 2 option as Sanju Samson hasn’t really done enough to push Dhoni out of contention. However, Virat Kohli has preferred having KL Rahul keep wicket in recent months and if Kohli decides to back KL Rahul, it could close the door on MS Dhoni and force him into retirement!

Ipl

India Bettors Will Be Disappointed With 2020 IPL Cancellation

The Indian Premier League (IPL) is the biggest and richest T20 domestic cricketing league in the world. The IPL has taken place every season for the last decade even through adverse circumstances and situations as the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has always found a way to host this lucrative T20 competition.

The IPL usually runs for a period of 6 weeks and features the most exciting international and domestic T20 specialists from all over the world. The 2020 IPL was expected to commence at the end of this month and Indian cricket fans were looking forward to supporting their favorite IPL franchise while punters were eager to place their bets and see if they can come out on the winning side.

Will The IPL Start on April 15?

The BCCI and IPL governing committee made the decision earlier this month to postpone the start of the IPL due to the on-going concerns and restrictions brought about by COVID-19. A meeting was called with IPL franchise owners who made a decision to postpone the tournament and not take a risk on the health and safety of the players.

BCCI President Sourav Ganguly stated that the IPL will be postponed to April 15 and that his team will carefully monitor the situation and provide updates on a weekly basis. As of now, the IPL is still scheduled to start on April 15 but that appears highly unlikely as all the IPL franchises have cancelled their training camps and their overseas players are yet to travel to India.

Indian sports bettors remain hopeful that the 2020 IPL will take place even if it is a mini version of the tournament. The global situation will have to improve significantly in the next week, if the IPL is to commence on April 15 as the organizers and players will have just about a week to prepare themselves.

The BCCI confirmed earlier that the plan is to have the 2020 IPL take place in empty stadiums in order to protect players and fans. A number of IPL foreign players including Ben Stokes and Jos Butler continue to practice in England as they believe that a shortened version of the IPL will take place!

How Long Can The IPL Be Delayed?   

Indian cricket fans remain hopeful because a member of the BCCI who preferred to remain anonymous said that the IPL body can delay things till May 1 and still get into a mini-version of the tournament. The two most likely scenarios in this case will be to schedule double header matches each day. The earlier IPL schedule only had matches taking place in the evening due to the heat and humidity in India.

To get in as many matches as possible, the organizers will have to schedule 2 matches per day. The first will start around 2.30 pm IST and the second match will start at the usual 8 pm IST schedule time. The IPL teams will have to agree to play in difficult conditions in order to get the tournament underway.

The second scenario is for the IPL to reduce the number of games and still stick to the schedule of having just one game per day – during the evening. The usual IPL schedule has each IPL franchise playing the other franchise two times during the season and then the top four teams on the points table advance to the playoffs.

A shortened version will see the IPL make the decision to host a mini-tournament where each IPL franchise plays the other team just once. The points table will still be followed and the top four teams will go into the playoffs. Rumours suggest that the latest that the IPL championship final can be held in June 5.

Will The 2020 IPL Be Cancelled?

The big question is whether all of this will be possible or whether the 2020 IPL will be cancelled. As of now, India is on a completely lockdown till April 14 and it seems highly unlikely that we will get any cricket action in April. The BCCI and IPL governing body will wait till the last minute before taking a final call on the 2020 IPL. However, as of now it looks like the 2020 IPL will be cancelled and Indian bettors will not be able to place any bets on the 2020 IPL.