IPL eyes September 19 start
The IPL governing council is planning to maintain the home and away concept in this year’s edition by allotting bases to each of the eight participating teams.
The tournament is also likely to be brought forward by a week and will begin on September 19. The final is being planned for November 8/10.
The 13th edition of the tournament will be held in the UAE and the governing council is likely to meet on Monday to discuss the modalities. According to The Telegraph’s sources, each team will be allotted a base from among the three venues — Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah.
Three franchises will be based each in Dubai and Abu Dhabi while Sharjah will host two sides. To keep the home and away concept going, no two teams will be allowed to play between themselves at the same venue more than once.
The franchises will have to practise at their own bases though training facilities at the International Cricket Council Academy of Dubai Sports City can also be availed.
“The modalities are still being worked out. A detailed presentation will be made during the governing council meeting,” a well-placed source said.
This is being done to ensure that no team gets an advantage when it comes to the conditions, though venues make very little difference in the UAE.
Abu Dhabi generally hosts matches in the evening, which gives the seamers a slight advantage while Dubai and Sharjah are known to be belters.
Teams generally prefer staying in Dubai with the other venues only one-and-a-half hours drive away.
It is the sultry conditions in the UAE that have prompted the idea of extending the duration of the tournament by around 10 days. The number of double headers will be reduced and focus will be more on the evening matches.
The tournament will see a total of 60 matches.
The Emirates Cricket Board is still awaiting an official confirmation from the Board of Control for Cricket in India since that is needed to avail the necessary permission from the government in the UAE. However, that hasn’t stopped the franchises from making arrangements for their players and support staff.