MS Dhoni and Virat Kohli with the IPL Trophy. (TOI File Photo)
MUMBAI: The Indian Premier League‘s (IPL) governing council (GC) is all set to meet on Saturday via teleconference, followed by a meeting with their primary stakeholders – franchise owners, broadcasters and central sponsors – on Sunday and Monday.
The meetings will chart out the “final plan” for the tournament to be played in UAE starting September 19.
This comes after TOI reported on the concerns raised by franchise owners about the arrangements being put in place for the 13th edition of the IPL. “In all these years of IPL, the responsibility of accommodation, hospitality, travel etc – during the IPL – has been of the team owners. Nothing is going to change this year. The only change will be in the SOPs with regards to Covid,” GC chairman Brijesh Patel said, also confirming the dates for the meetings.
The BCCI chose to share their plans for UAE with TOI on Monday.
Bio-secure bubble: Strict protocols being put in place. Each franchise will create its own bubble in which the team will only be interacting with the limited number of people in their ecosystem or allotted to them by BCCI. A similar bubble will be created for BCCI and the IMG staff, broadcasters etc. Nobody will be allowed to interact with individuals outside their bubble except through pre-appointed coordinators.
Revenue pools: Since all 60 matches of IPL are being played in 51 days, there will be no change in distribution of BCCI’s central revenue pool.
Gate money: If the IPL wouldn’t have happened, franchises wouldn’t be looking at any income. Letting go of gate money, the board says, is “pittance”.
Travel & accommodation: Franchises will have to figure their own travel arrangements and accommodation in UAE. BCCI will coordinate with UAE authorities to ensure “discounted hotel rates” and share it with the franchises. It will then be the franchise’s discretion to settle for options provided by BCCI or make their own arrangements. Franchises will fly their players to UAE and back, as is the case during IPL in India every year.
Medical assistance: Franchises will arrange for their own medical teams and the BCCI will arrange a central medical team. Once players & support staff land in UAE, the onus of testing will be on the franchises, who will in turn coordinate with BCCI’s medical team on a 24×7 basis. Each franchise’s medical team will stay with their respective teams within the security bubble.
Player replacement & loaning: There will be no change in the player policy and the franchises will be free to travel with extra players so as to avoid last-minute travels.
The board and GC are working on thorough details to prepare a draft on these policies that will be discussed at Saturday’s meeting and then be shared with the franchises. “Once we share what we do with the franchises, we know there will be questions. We need to be thoroughly prepared,” says Patel.