It might be a possibility that defending champions Mumbai Indians could lock horns with Royal Challengers Bangalore in the curtain raiser of the upcoming 13th season of the Indian Premier League. The move can be finalised after Covid-19 crisis in the CSK camp.
The Board of Control for Cricket in India had earlier confirmed that 13 members of the CSK unit have been tested positive for Covid-19. Out of the 13 members, fast bowler Deepak Chahar and batsman Ruturaj Gaekwad are tested positive.
In the initial schedule, in which the IPL was to begin from March 29, the reigning champions Mumbai Indians and runners-up Chennai Super Kings were all set to take on each other.
In fact, Mumbai Indians captain Rohit Sharma had recently said that he would see MS Dhoni (in his tribute message on Dhoni’s retirement) at the toss on September 19 and had given a hint regarding the opening match of the season. But since then things have gone haywire in the CSK camp, which can force BCCI to make these changes.
We have seen that the schedule is mostly prepared in the manner that defending champions take on the runners-up in the opening match. Furthermore, the board wants two big Indian names to play the first match and thus Virat Kohli’s Royal Challengers Bangalore is preferred.
“It could possibly be Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) because in the first match, you’ll need star players on the field. If MS Dhoni is missing, then it has to be Virat Kohli,” those tracking developments told TOI.
The BCCI has delayed the official announcement of the schedule due to the recent crisis in the CSK camp. Moreover, CSK suffered a huge blow as their vice-captain Suresh Raina decided to pull out of the IPL due to personal reasons.
Meanwhile, the IPL is all set to begin from September 19 with Dubai, Sharjah and Abu Dhabi to host all the matches. It is reported that Dubai and Abu Dhabi will host the 21 matches each in the first two legs whereas Sharjah will host the last 14 matches in the final leg. This would be done to minimise the travelling of all the eight teams.
The teams will return to Dubai for the playoff stages.