The 13th edition of the Indian T20 League is all set to get underway from 19th September with the playoffs starting 8th November. The Indian T20 League is the world’s most popular T20 League and the most followed event of the cricketing calendar.
The League has had 12 seasons, and all of them have been bigger and better than anything else in the cricketing world. The exciting cricket and the delighted fans make the game nothing short of a festival.
This year has been challenging for everyone; the coronavirus pandemic has stopped the world, and life, as we know it, has changed. Everything from the corporate sector to the entertainment industry has ended, and even sports wasn’t spared.
The cricket extravaganza this year will be different from the previous editions. Here are five things that will make this Indian T20 League edition different.
5. No use of saliva on the ball
In a recent ruling passed by the International Cricket Board, in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, the governing body confirmed changes to its regulations, including the saliva ban to shine the ball. The cricket ball manufacturers suggested the use of a small sponge or an applicator with wax in the presence of the umpires.
4. New Branding, Jerseys, and Partners
Each edition, the franchises unveils new team kits with new sponsors. All the eight teams – Chennai, Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore, Kolkata, Rajasthan, Hyderabad, Punjab, are spotting new kits with new sponsors.
The Bangalore franchise has also rebranded their team identity and introduced a new team logo- their 3rd one since the inception of the League. Third time lucky, maybe.
The naming rights of the Indian T20 League has also changed for this year. Also, the League’s governing council announced India’s largest learning platform and credit card payment platform as official partners beginning with the 2020 edition.
3. New venue and timings
Generally, the Indian T20 League takes place during April and May across different cities in India. But this year, it got postponed because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Because of the pandemic situation, the governing council decided to stage the tournament in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The matches will be played in Abu Dhabi, Dubai, and Sharjah.
The two-month-long tournament will witness ten doubleheaders with afternoon matches starting at 3:30 PM IST, while the evening matches will begin at 7:30 PM IST.
2. Use of bio-bubble and social distancing protocols
Like the recently concluded England’s international cricket home season, which hosted tours of West Indies, Pakistan, and Australia in bio-bubble environments, the franchises will maintain the same for the length of these two months.
The Caribbean T20 League also had all the players and staff put up at one hotel. The Indian T20 League has eight teams camping in different hotels in Dubai and Abu Dhabi and traveling to the venues every day.
The franchises’ safety protocols until the final ball is bowled in the tournament and regular testing to prevent the coronavirus’s spread will be permanent throughout the season.
1. Fans will not be present in the stadium for the first time
Because all the matches will be held without spectators’ presence, all the franchises have decided to have pre-recorded reactions of fans and cheerleaders, which will be played out during the matches.
This will give players the energy. While fans will feel that they are a part of the action, players will know that they are being followed.
The Indian T20 League may not be happening in India, and without fans and many different rules and regulations would certainly be challenging. But the tournament promises to bring us some exciting cricket, and after getting stuck at home and suffering so much from the pandemic, people would love to relax and watch the game they love so much.
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