THIS weekend sees the IPL get underway in the United Arab Emirates.
On Saturday, the Mumbai Indians face Chennai Super Kings in Abu Dhabi, before Dubai hosts Delhi Capitals v Kings XI Punjab on Sunday.
As mentioned on last weekend’s podcast, the coronavirus situation resulted in the competition moving to UAE.
At the time of writing, India has had 4.93 million confirmed cases of coronavirus with 80,776 deaths.
By comparison, the UAE has had 80,266 confirmed cases with 399 deaths.
The increase of cases and deaths in India is far higher than the figures in UAE, according to Google.
It will be the second time, the IPL has taken place outside of India.
In 2009, the tournament coincided with the 2009 general elections and in the aftermath of the 2009 attack on the Sri Lanka team in Lahore, the Indian government refused to commit security for the tournament.
As a result, the BCCI moved the tournament to South Africa.
According to the Sydney Morning Herald, the move generated $100million for the South African economy.
A major difference is this tournament will be played behind closed doors, which the 2009 tournament was not.
Kingsmead, SuperSport Park, Wanderers, Newlands, St. George’s Park, Buffalo Park, DeBeers Oval and OUTsurance Oval all hosted games.
Deccan Chargers would beat Royal Challengers Bangalore by six runs at Wanderers in the final.
Coincidently, the top-run scorer in each innings was South African, with Herschelle Gibbs securing 53 and Roelof van der Merwe hitting 32.
Teams will have to contend with coronavirus during this tournament.
The Chennai Super Kings have had 11 players from their team test positive as has the assistant physio of the Delhi Capitals.
Earlier today, Rajasthan Royals head coach Andrew McDonald revealed the team were unsure whether or not English all-rounder Ben Stokes would be available.
Mr Stokes missed two tests against Pakistan and the ODI and T2OI series’ against Australia for family reasons.
Mr McDonald told ESPNCricinfo: “First and foremost, thoughts with the Stokes family.
“It’s a difficult scenario, so we’re giving him as much time as he needs, and connecting with him as best we can.
“So yeah, we’re not sure where Stokesy’s at right now, but once it has played out, then we can make our decisions from there.
“But I don’t want to second-guess what will happen with him just yet.”
The team play Chennai Super Kings in their first game on September 22.