IPL 2019 Schedule, Dates

With 2018 ending, we have come one step closer to another thunderous season of the cricketing extravaganza, the Indian Premier League. The year 2019 will witness the twelfth season of IPL, starting from 23 March till 12 May.

IPL 2019 Schedule

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Over the years, IPL has been able to withstand the gravity of the multiple challenges it has had to face. With events like the founder, Lalit Modi’s involvement in multiple scandals and the spot-fixing and betting scandal of 2013 which hit hard in the face of the very spirit of cricket and led to the banning of the most successful franchises, namely the Chennai Super Kings and the Rajasthan Royals, the fans had every right and reason to feel disappointed. But such is the madness for the game of cricket in our country, the viewership has kept on soaring, reaching new heights every year and the revenues have continued to grow. This can be better explained by the fact that when Pepsi terminated its title sponsorship, BCCI, the parent of the league, could manage to sell the annual title sponsorship to Vivo which paid a quarter more than its predecessor!

Besides, the IPL, in every season has given numerous players, who might otherwise have not come into the spotlight in the traditional format of the game, an opportunity to shine and prove their mettle. The event also lives up to the spirit of cricket by establishing harmony among players from different cultures, races and different levels of talent, playing together in the same team as brothers. Given the history of the event, its not difficult to predict that IPL 2019 would offer nail-biting experience. But some new challenges and doubts await the twelfth season.

HURDLES IN THE ROAD AHEAD

  1. VENUE: SOUTH AFRICA OR UAE?

A major uncertainty for the league is the schedule of the 2019 General elections of the country. Announcements for which have not been made yet. Certainly, BCCI would not want the cricket extravaganza to coincide with the political one. With the security resources deployed for the elections, assumptions are that either UAE or South Africa will host the 2019 IPL matches. While the venue has not been finalized yet, let us have a look at the feasibility of the possible locations.

UNITED ARAB EMIRATES (UAE)

PROS:

  • Lesser travel expenses as compared to South Africa
  • Larger number of Indian audience.
  • Cricket is the second most popular game in the country after football. The country also hosted the ICC Under-19 World Cup in 2014.

CONS:

  • Pakistan Super League is scheduled around February 2019 in UAE and might have an effect on the audience gathering for the IPL 12.
  • The players who are common in both the T20 Leagues will have a choice to make, considering their fitness for the forthcoming ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 in England.
  • The stadiums in UAE are cricket saturated with Asia Cup, Afghan League, T-10 tournament, UAE league and also PSL played on the pitches just this year. It will be very hard to load the IPL into this clutter.

SOUTH AFRICA

PROS

  • Experience - the2009 Indian Premier Leagueseason was hosted successfully by South Africaas it coincided with multi-phase2009 Indian general elections. It was hailed as an "extraordinary” accomplishment, particularly praised for globalizing cricket.

CONS

  • Higher travel expenses.
  • In 2009, the BCCI had abruptly shifted the venue of the tournament to South Africa on a short notice. In turn, BCCI had to bear a loss of Rs. 41.9 crores.
    The franchisees had at that time demanded compensation of revenues for the abrupt relocation, since they believed the relocation had led to the loss of marketing opportunities.
  • Jet lag phenomenon in a different time zone.

CONCLUSION: The change in venue is more of an obvious thing this time so this might not cause financial losses as massive as in 2009. Still, the returns in a foreign land are expected to be far below those in India.

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2. ICC WORLD CUP 2019

Scheduled in England, ICC World Cup 2019 can create a hurdle in IPL. Already, to maintain the mandatory gap of 15 days between two major events, the match of Indian cricket team has been postponed to June 05, from June 02.

PROS

  • IPL can be considered a practice test for players in foreign conditions.

CONS

  • Foreign boards would want their players back early to practise and prepare.
  • Australia and England have already imposed date cut-offs which eat into IPL time because of which IPL teams will need to find replacements.
  • T20 format demands a higher level of action and fitness and due to insufficient days of rest, the Indian players may carry over the fatigue to the World Cup which is not a risk that deserves a chance. Even the Indian skipper, Mr.Virat Kohli, has advocated giving rest to the fast bowlers during the IPL, 2019.

3. BCCI: THE STRUGGLE WITHIN

Struggling with Supreme Court orders and an internal investigation regarding CEO, the BCCI is not in its strongest position, as of now, which makes it harder for the body to get through to any crisis via the path of negotiation.

Ever since its beginning, the IPL has played a big role in boosting the local economy, of the places where matches are played as well as the country’s overall economy. The expectations from the event grow higher with every passing year. But, given the circumstances, one can’t be sure of the success of this event. However, one thing is certain that the coming summer vacations are going to be exhilarating.