Dubai: The suspense over the schedule of the 13th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) will end on Sunday when the fixtures will be released, according to IPL chairman Brijesh Patel.
Confirming a news agency report, Patel told Gulf News: ‘‘Yes, the fixtures will be out on Sunday. There will be matches in all three venues of Dubai, Sharjah and Abu Dhabi from the start.’’
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It's now a worst-kept secret that last year's champions and runners-up, Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings, respectively, will kick off the showpiece on September 19. The final, for the first time, will be held on a weekday on November 10 (Tuesday).
This puts paid to speculation over several theories, including that of the first half of the event being staged in Dubai and Sharjah before it moves to the UAE capital Abu Dhabi. Patel, a former Indian Test star of the Seventies, and Hemang Amin, COO of the league had been in trouble-shooting mode over the last two weeks alongwith the officials of International Marketing Group (IMG), their event managers - often shuttling between Dubai and Abu Dhabi.
Sourav Ganguly, former Indian captain and president of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), and secretary Jay Shah are scheduled to arrive on September 8 as the preparations for the IPL reaches its final stages.
Streaming of matches
Meanwhile, streaming service Disney+ Hotstar VIP, who has the rights to stream the IPL matches, said it has partnered with India’s leading telecom companies Reliance Jio and Airtel.
The partnerships are aimed at making it easier for people to subscribe to the streaming service.
Both Jio and Airtel will offer “exciting” prepaid recharge plans, bundled with a 12-months subscription to Disney+ Hotstar VIP, the company said.
The two partners will provide the convenience of buying these plans across either millions of Jio and Airtel retail stores using cash in or digital payments.
“Over the past few years, IPL has become the most loved sporting tournament in the country,” Uday Shankar, President, The Walt Disney Company APAC and Chairman, Star & Disney India said in a statement.
After several months of the lockdown, we believe that this tournament can be a catalyst in ushering in new optimism and smiles in India, with millions of fans cheering together from all parts of the country.”
This year, Disney+ Hotstar VIP has added new features to the interactive Watch’N Play social feed that allows a virtual community of cricket lovers to share excitement and support while watching the matches Live on the platform.
Cricket lovers will be able to join in the action by expressing themselves using “Hotshots” selfies or a new video feature “Duets” that lets fans create customised videos showcasing their rendition of famous shots.
“Our use of technology in presenting this immersive experience will not only set a global benchmark but also redefine the way we watch and enjoy sports in the coming years,” Shankar said.