The IPL 2020 is virtually all set to be held in the UAE, over a 54-day window, from September 19 to November 10. Image Credit: AP

Dubai: The Governing Council of Indian Premier League (IPL) has decided to hold the 13th edition of the league from September 19 to November 10 in the UAE, though they are still awaiting the final clearance from the key ministries: External Affairs and Home.

The tournament will include 10 double headers and the evening matches will start half-an-hour earlier from 7.30 pm IST (6 pm).

A IANS report quoted a BCCI official as saying: “The BCCI has received clearance from the Sports Ministry and we are hopeful of a positive response from the other departments quite soon as well.”

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The decision to extend the tournament by two more days to November 10 was taken to ensure that there is enough gaps between games considering the strict protocol that will be in place, with the event now having an unprecedented 54-day window. The schedule, much awaited by the fans across the franchises, will take a few more days to be officially released.

The virtual meeting of the Governing Council, which was attended by president Sourav Ganguly as a special invitee (with his term being officially over) as they negotiated a long agenda - which included permission from the government, Chinese companies as sponsors, Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for the teams, bio-security bubbles, permission for families to travel alongwith the availability of the overseas professionals from the first week of the league.

It is learnt that a UK-based company, which had handled the bio-security over for the just-concluded England-West Indies Test series, will be entrusted by the event managers to provide similar arrangements for the teams, support staff and broadcasters.

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The Council will have another round of meeting with representatives of the franchises and broadcasters on Monday to further finetune the details, including the franchises’ plan to fly their teams to the UAE at least three to four weeks of the event for conditioning camps. “We have been asked to start our visa process,” an official of one of the franchises told the media.

Women's IPL on

Meanwhile, top Indian women’s cricketers, including one-day captain Mithali Raj welcomed the announcement that the Women’s IPL will take place during the men’s league in the UAE tentatively between November 1 and 10.

The team has not played since the T20 World Cup final since March. Mithali, who only plays ODIs, last played in November.

With the tour of England in cancelled, it seemed the women won’t get much game time before the ODI World Cup in FebruaChinesery-March.

However, Ganguly’s announcement earlier on Sunday has eased some concerns. “This is excellent news . Our ODI World Cup campaign to finally kick start . A big thank you to @SGanguly99 @BCCI @JayShah and thank you @BoriaMajumdar for your support to women’s cricket,” Mithali tweeted.

Senior spinner Poonam Yadav wrote: “Good news! Thank you @SGanguly99 and the BCCI.”