The much-awaited Indian Premier League commences on the 19th of September with the opening match being played between Defending champions Mumbai Indians and last year’s runner-up Chennai Super Kings at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium. Just like last year, there will be no opening ceremony for IPL this year either.
This year, IPL will be held in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah. In 2019, the Supreme Court appointed Committee of Administrators (CoA) made the decision to give away the funds to the families of CRPF workers who lost their lives in Pulwama, leading to the cancellation of the IPL opening ceremony.
After the Covid-19 pandemic forced the postponement of IPL this year from April to September. Sourav Ganguly, the President of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), had earlier said that they are expecting highest ratings of IPL this season since people who won’t be coming to the field will be watching on their televison sets at home.
He believed that this year will witness a considerable increase in viewership with India’s primetime television slots booked for the matches. He believes this to be the positive in all that is going on.
“Because of the Covid and infection, you don’t want people to be too close to each other, but very soon you will see there will be 30 percent people in the ground with social distancing,” Ganguly had stated as he believed that people might start turning up to stands in the later half the tournament.
Rajasthan Royals’ Robin Uthappa had also opined that the tournament will bring joy to the cricket fans after all the postponing and cancellations this year has seen. “I think in this unpredictable time, we were and are craving for normalcy and this tournament and sports, in general, brings about that feeling of normalcy back into our lives,” said Uthappa.
“Most definitely, it is going to be really special this year, simply because of what we all have gone through as a human race,” the Indian international said.
The glamourous opening ceremony is cancelled to reduce people in the ground. Over 20,000 Covid-19 tests will be conducted for safety during the tournament. Players are going to be taken to and from their hotels directly following BCCI’s health protocols.
Source: News 18