Indian cricketers Suresh Raina and Rishabh Pant on Friday went bat-shopping to gear up for the impending 13th season of the Indian Premier League (IPL).
The two cricketers reached the SG Cricket factory in Meerut to finalise their bat. Raina later shared a video with the caption "Gearing up for the much awaited season of IPL with the first step of finalising my Bat Can’t wait to be back at the FIELD..One Happy Soul, One Step at a Time @RishabhPant17 @sg_cricket."
Earlier in the day, IPL chairman Brijesh Patel confirmed that the long-anticipated season of the cash-rich league will commence on September 19 onwards in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) with the final slated to be played on November 8. The league was initially slated to begin from March 29 onwards but was later postponed owing to the rising coronavirus concerns. However, the decks were cleared for the annual carnival after the Asia Cup and World T20 was cancelled because of the pandemic.
The IPL Governing Council is scheduled to meet next week to finalise the details and approve the schedule, it is understood that the BCCI has informally intimated the franchises about the plan.
"The GC will meet shortly but we have finalised the schedule. It will run from September 19 to November 8. We expect government approval to come through. It is a full 51-day IPL," Patel confirmed the development after PTI reported the dates on Thursday.
Patel added that BCCI will write to the Emirates Cricket Board about the Standard Operating Procedure to combat the COVID-19 threat.
"We are making the SOP and it will be ready in a few days. To allow crowd or not depends on the UAE government. Anyway, social distancing has to be maintained. We have left it for their government to decide on that. Will also be writing to the UAE board formally," Patel said.