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Indian T20 League confirms September start in United Arab Emirates

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The Indian T20 League on Sunday confirmed that following clearances from the Indian government, the much-delayed 2020 tournament will finally start in the United Arab Emirates in September because of the mounting global pandemic in India.

It will be the third time that the world's richest cricket tournament has had to be held outside its home country.

The tournament will start on September 19 and the final will be on November 10, said Board of Control for Cricket in India secretary Jay Shah in a statement after a video meeting of the Indian T20 League governing council.

"Taking note of the prevailing (virus) situation in India, the Indian T20 League governing council decided to stage the tournament in the United Arab Emirates and the matches will be played in Dubai, Sharjah and Abu Dhabi subject to necessary clearances from the government of India," said Shah.

The Indian T20 League governing council set a 24-player limit for each squad, and also approved the usage of unlimited substitutes due to the pandemic.

Ten of the matches will be held in the afternoon while the rest will all be in the evening. Also, of the 53 days encompassing the event, ten of them will feature double-headers.

The statement said the governing council discussed health procedures for the eight teams but did not say whether the players would have to undergo quarantine in the UAE before the tournament starts.

The UAE currently requires tourists to be in isolation for 14 days.

The tournament normally starts in late March or April but was repeatedly postponed because of the pandemic.

India currently has 1.75 million cases, the world's third-highest.

The Indian T20 League was previously held outside of India in 2009, when it was played in South Africa, and 2014 in the UAE because it clashed with national elections.

Feature image courtesy: AFP / Arun Sankar

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