Forbes India 15th Anniversary Special

IPL 2020 – The new season in UAE

Published: Sep 23, 2020 06:11:53 PM IST
Updated: Sep 25, 2020 04:15:01 PM IST

IPL 2020 – The new season in UAE
The globally loved T-20 series, the Indian Premier League (IPL), has completed 12 seasons and will be entering its 13th season. When we think IPL, we think drama and drum rolls, the ultra-grand inauguration ceremony, and the excitement of playing in your home turf, the stadiums filled with cheering crowds and much-much more. 

But this year, things are going to be different- the teams will be playing away from their beloved home stadiums and the crowds that cheer them on will be missing. However, for cricket enthusiasts watching from home, the excitement, though different, will still be high and equally nerve-racking. 

Keep reading to learn more about the reasons behind the change and how it will impact the game/ and online gaming platforms. 

Why IPL ia shifting to UAE

Covid-19 hit the world like a storm. The pandemic has put a curb to large gatherings, which in turn put a halt to many forms of sporting events and tournaments, including the biggest event of them all Olympics. However, the IPL has managed to survive. The decision was taken to shift the tournament to another country to ensure a successful season without the teeming crowds. Originally, the tournament was to run from the 29th of March to the 24th of May. Formerly it was planned to be held in different stadiums in Mumbai but was suspended due to the alarming rate of coronavirus cases in the country. 

Amidst the fear of the pandemic and talks of postponing/cancelling the most loved cricketing tournament of the world, UAE came as a ray of sunshine. UAE has far lesser cases of the virus when compared to India. The officials of the UAE have declared the country “safe” for tourism. 

How will IPL in UAE be different from India

The 13th season of the Indian Premier League will be different from its previous years. We will get to experience our much-loved cricket with a twist. The social distancing protocols, empty stands, and being away from the homeland are a few of the changes that we will witness in the tournament. 

Let’s see how IPL will be different this year. 

No home turfs:

Apart from 2014, where 20 matches were played in Dubai because of general elections in India, players are used to going loggerheads with each other in their hometowns. Every team faces the other team two times, once in their home town and then in their opponent’s home town. But this year, all the matches will be played in 3 stadiums – Sheikh Zayed cricket stadium, Dubai international cricket stadium, Sharjah cricket association stadium. 

No cheering crowds:

Players are used to playing in a stadium full of fans hauling and cheering for them. Fans come from various parts of the country and different parts of the world to cheer for their favourite team. Off the field there is enough drama and spice added by Bollywood celebrities, the blaring theme music, DJs, and the lively cheerleaders. But this year, the normally crowded and noisy stadiums will be empty. 

The most difficult aspect will be players practice social distancing from each other. It is going to be difficult for the players to avoid celebrating their wins by hugging or by shaking hands after a win. As of now, there is no permission for people to enter the stadium as spectators. But this isn’t the final call yet- if the circumstances are under control UAE government may allow the stadium to be filled at 20-30% of the capacity. All we can do is keep our fingers crossed till then.

People will follow teams on TV, Disney + Hotstar, and more.

Star India is the official broadcaster of IPL 2020- Fans can catch the IPL live on star network channels. The network is also making arrangements to broadcast the IPL in 9 different languages including English and Hindi. This trend of going more local and regional is also witnessed in the online gaming sector. In an interview with HT café Mattias Bergehed, CEO at ENV Media, mentioned how more and more platforms are churning out games with regional content. 

If Indian fans want to catch the live streaming of IPL on, they will have to go for the paid/premium subscription of Disney + Hotstar.

Online cricket platform are going go enjoy the most!

Online platforms that support cricket tournaments will witness a huge boom. The availability of data and the ease of watching the streaming on the go will make online platforms popular in the cricket loving nation. It is expected to lead to a huge spike in the number of their viewership. 

Other than that, legal cricket betting platforms like 10cric India will also witness an increase in their user base as more and more fans will shift to the legal and convenient way of playing cricket games online.

So, which dates should IPL loving fans book!

IPL is delayed from its generally scheduled dates because of the Covid-19. The official span decided for the tournament is from September to November. We will also see the season lasting longer than its previous seasons. The first team will face each other on the 19th of September, commencing the season, and the final match will be played on the 8th of November, deciding the winner.  

Let us have a look at the participating teams

This year eight teams will go loggerheads with each other, playing a total of 56 matches. The participating teams include- Chennai Super Kings, Delhi Capitals, Kolkata Knight Riders, Kings X| Punjab, Mumbai Indians, SunRisers Hyderabad, Rajasthan Royals, and Royal Challengers Bangalore. 

Last year’s finalists Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings will begin the seasons by playing the first match of IPL 2020. Interestingly they are also the strongest and most sought-after teams of the tournament. 

Final note.

Even though the IPL will be different in so many ways this year, but one thing will still be the same, that is the thrill and adventure it brings for fans and sponsors. We will still root for our teams and now, because of safe and legal websites like 10crick, we can keep track of statistics and players’ form.

Disclaimer: The views, suggestions and opinions expressed here are the sole responsibility of the experts. No Forbes India journalist was involved in the writing and production of this article.