CHENNAI: An important meeting of the IPL Governing Council comes up on Sunday. The franchises are looking forward to it eagerly, because only after official clarification can they start the process of travelling to the UAE. As of now, they are in the dark about Covid-19 protocols, dos and don'ts of training and intra-city travel between Sharjah, Dubai and Abu Dhabi.
The meeting will be held online and seven members of the Governing Council led by chairman Brijesh Patel will be in attendance. BCCI president Sourav Ganguly may join in as special invitee.
Representatives of the franchises have not been invited to the meeting. They will be updated about the proceedings in due course. If things go according to plan, the teams hope to start preparations next week.
"Everything related to travel and accommodation arrangements, size of contingents, guidelines to be followed in the UAE will be discussed. The matter of safety and implementation of safety parameters is the priority. We have studied different models of bio-secure environments. Whatever is best for IPL and the participants, will be done," a Governing Council member told The New Indian Express.
It has been learnt that although some of the plans have been made, the BCCI is still to get an official clearance from the government to stage the IPL there. And as long as that is not obtained, IPL officials are not going to share the details with the franchises. That is why team officials are still to hear from the Governing Council.
Some of the franchises feel it is time for them to know these details because they intend reaching UAE in the middle of August, so that the players can start getting ready for the tournament beginning on September 19. It has been over four months that Indian cricketers have not practised with bat and ball. Franchises want to give them about a month of training in the UAE before the event starts.
ALSO READ | Limited family members in IPL?
"We are expecting the Governing Council to release the standard operating procedures (SOP) (Sunday) or Monday. There has been no communication from them regarding these. And unless we know what is allowed, we can't start the process. Getting the SOP is important, considering that there will be guidelines for everything like travel, training, stay and local commute," said a senior official of a franchise.
Sponsorship review unlikely
The Governing Council is unlikely to discuss sponsorship issues. After the Indo-China border unrest in June, it was tweeted from IPL's official handle that the Governing Council will "review various IPL sponsorship deals". Chinese smartphone maker Vivo is the title sponsor of IPL.
Sunday is the first meeting after that announcement. "Not to my knowledge," the Governing Council member said when asked if this is going to be discussed.