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Here is the IPL Governing Council's Sunday agenda

It's a totally new pitch for cricket amid Covid-19 pandemic. The Indian Premier League's Governing Council meeting on Sunday will bring clarity not just for the franchises but also for the viewers about what to expect during the 13th edition of the league which is set to take place in the UAE from 19th September. While the board has figured out most of the logistics, an approval from the central government is also on the way as the teams prepare to move their base to the Emirates. Here is what agenda of the Governing Council meeting will look like as they meet online on Sunday.

Standard Operating Procedures

The BCCI has finalised its list of the Standard Operating Procedures which will be the rule book for everyone related to IPL in the UAE. It will have all the guidelines and procedures to follow including emergency practices like when a player or official tests positive. The set of rules will be shared with the teams and are likely to be implemented in totality even before the teams collect in India to leave for the Emirates.

Sponsorship

While most of the franchises have long term agreements with principal sponsors, many local sponsors too are added to the kitty just before the tournament. The local players do add a punch to the overall profit margins for the teams and are extremely important. While most local sponsors are likely to back out this time, teams are worried about the sponsorship scenario and will be discussing that with the Board.

Travel & Transport

IPL Governing Chairman Brijesh Patel has already confirmed that the travel will be taken care of by the teams but the franchises are not very happy. Reports suggest that many teams still have doubts about the process of going to the UAE and want batches of players, support staff and other officials from all the teams to travel together. BCCI is not keen on this and a possible flashpoint will arise in the meeting on Sunday.

Biosecure bubble

While it was earlier suggested that a bio-secure bubble will be created, the BCCI has quickly transferred the onus on the teams to maintain the bio-secure environment. Brijesh Patel confirmed that officers will be appointed by the individual teams to maintain the bubble and ensure players’ safety in the times of the global pandemic.

Accommodation

Another flashpoint between the teams and BCCI will be the accommodation of players and officials in the franchises. The standard operating procedures from the BCCI are likely to instruct the teams to stay in small hotels to minimise the chances of coming in contact with the outsiders. Teams though prefer big 5-stars and are pushing the board to get discounts from the UAE government as hospitality costs in the Emirates is much higher than India.

Covid-19 testing

There are no quarantine rules in the UAE. The players need to carry a negative Covid-19 report in order to enter the country or they’ll be tested on arrival at the airport. But teams are worried about testing later in the tournament. Ness Wadia, Co-owner of Kings XI Punjab wants testing on a daily basis but BCCI is not very keen on picking up the bills for medical tests. The board wants the teams to pay the costs of living and maintaining the medical procedures like it has always done.

Hire local

While the tournament might be 51 days long, teams will be living in the UAE for more than 70 days as they will prepare for at least 3 weeks before the start. Most teams are in favour of taking their own personnel like security officers, team managers, catering staff as the cost of hiring talent locally is very high. The BCCI is totally in favour of hiring locals for the jobs and this will be a big discussion point on Sunday.

Family members

IPL is known for the relaxed environment where players live together along with their families for more than 2 months, but this is bound to change. IPL Governing Council is likely to say no to the players bringing their families to the UAE but the teams are totally against it. Staying locked up for more than 70 days in a foreign land without family is likely to affect the morale of the players & the franchises are likely to push for allowing the family members.

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