The much-anticipated Indian Premier League (IPL) will begin today (Saturday) in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) behind closed doors due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings, the most successful sides of the tournament, will be seen locking horns in the opening clash.
Meanwhile, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has issued an advisory for media personnel on Friday. According to the advisory, the media will not have access to the stadium to cover the games or team practice sessions. This is due to the health and safety concerns amid the coronavirus pandemic.
However, the BCCI added that there will be virtual post-match press conferences after each match. "Media currently registered with the BCCI will continue to receive press releases and regular updates before and after every match. These press releases will contain details on procedures to join the virtual post-match press conferences and methods to send in questions for the team representatives during match-days," BCCI said in a press release.
"BCCI will also provide accredited media with 35 images per match, an increase from earlier years, throughout the tournament. The images must be used for editorial purposes and be credited with BCCI/IPL on every platform," they added.
On Friday, BCCI secretary Jay Shah visited the Sharjah Cricket Stadium and "expressed his satisfaction" with the venue's preparations.
A statement from the stadium said that Shah visited all the main areas of the stadium and "expressed his satisfaction" with the facilities available.
Waleed Bukhatir, vice-chairman of Sharjah Cricket Stadium, and Khalaf Bukhatir, Managing Director of Bukhatir Group and CEO of Sharjah Cricket Stadium, accompanied Shah on his tour of the iconic stadium that now has improved facilities.
The stadium will also be hosting some mouth-watering IPL action this season, including an encounter between Royal Challengers Bangalore and Kolkata Knight Riders on October 12, and between Chennai Super Kings and Mumbai Indians on October 23.
(With IANS inputs)