Quick guide to the IPL 2020: Who is playing, when it is and how to watch

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Quick guide to the IPL 2020: Who is playing, when it is and how to watch

The Indian Premier League (IPL) is coming to the UAE to play league matches from September.

Matches will be played across three emirates including Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Sharjah between September 19 and November 8.

The IPL season was suspended this year due to COVID-19 and has moved location to the UAE to ensure the safety of players and staff.

This is not the first time the sport has come to these shores, as part of the IPL season was played in the UAE back in 2014.

Want to watch the games? Here’s what you need to know ahead of the first innings.

What is the IPL?

Okay, the Indian Premier League (IPL) is a professional Twenty20 cricket league from, you guessed it, India.

Twenty20 is the limited-overs version of cricket where a team can only bat for a maximum of 20 overs and each team has a single innings.

Lost already? It’s not that complicated to pick up, don’t worry.

Basically, each team has one innings to try and score as many runs as possible within a period of 20 overs, from 120 balls.

The IPL is usually contested in April and May, however, this year, due to the spread of COVID-19 the league was postponed and has been moved to the UAE.

A total of eight teams from across India compete in the league representing cities including Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore.

What are the teams?

The Indian Premier League was founded in 2008 and features a double round robin and playoffs format.

That means each team plays every other team twice (home and away) and the top four placed teams then playoff against one another to progress to the final.

Each squad is allowed between 18 and 25 players but only 8 overseas (non-Indian) players can be a part of a squad at one time.

In addition, a salary cap is in place for squads so that teams can’t create a team of superstars on huge wages and gain an advantage on the field.

Eight teams contest the league every year and in 2020 things are no different.

Heading to the UAE to try and win this year are Kings XI Punjab, Delhi Capitals, Rajasthan Royals, Kolkata Night Riders, Mumbai Indians, Sunrisers Hyderabad, Royal Challengers Bangalore and Chennai Super Kings.

Mumbai Indians are the most successful team in the competition with four wins.

Players to watch?

There are a number of high-profile players to watch when the IPL begins in the UAE.

All-rounders Andre Russell (Kolkata Knight Riders), Hardik Pandya (Mumbai Indians), Ben Stokes (Rajasthan Royals), Ravindra Jadeja (Chennai Super Kings) and Glenn Maxwell (Kings XI Punjab) all have a big role to play for their respective teams.

Elsewhere bowler Pat Cummins (Kolkata Knight Riders), Sheldon Cottrell (Kings XI Punjab), Nathan Coulter-Nile (Mumbai Indians) will all be expected to deliver once the matches get underway this year.

Experienced captains Rohit Sharma (Mumbai Indians) and captain cool MS Dhoni (Chennai Super Kings) will also be integral to Mumbai and Chennai’s chances again this year.

Where are the matches and can I be in the crowd?

Three venues in three emirates will host matches for the IPL 220.

In Abu Dhabi matches will be held at Sheikh Zayed Cricket Stadium, in Dubai at Dubai International Cricket Stadium and in Sharjah at Sharjah Cricket Stadium.

No spectators will be allowed into the venues at this time but IPL matches are always shown on TV due to the popularity of the sport in India and across the world.

So you might not be in the stadium but you won’t miss any of the action.
For more updates on the IPL in the UAE stay tuned to Time Out's dedicated section here.

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