For the first time in the history of Indian Premier League, there will be a one-off all-star game including players from all the eight franchises three days before the tournament’s opening match on March 29.
Furthermore, both the opening as well as the final game of IPL will be played in Mumbai which is the defending champions’ Mumbai Indians‘ home base.
According to a report from ESPN, the two teams for the all-star match will most likely be formed with players from the 4 franchises- North and East India including Delhi Capitals, Kings XI Punjab, Kolkata Knight Riders, Rajasthan Royals– and the 4 franchises from South and West India- Chennai Super Kings, Mumbai Indians, Royal Challengers Bangalore, and Sunrisers Hyderabad.
The venue for the highly anticipated fixture is yet to be finalised.
It is also reported that the all-star match is a brain-child of Sourav Ganguly, BCCI president, and Brijesh Patel, the IPL governing council chairman who were present at the governing council meeting where the decision was made in New Delhi on Monday.
The concept of All-Star games, however, is not novel. The National Basketball Association (NBA) has been conducting an exhibition All-Star Game every February since 1951 featuring 24 of the league’s star players on a single platform. The squad is shortlisted with the help of fans, player, as well as media voting.
The Pro Kabaddi League also introduced an All-Star format earlier last year. However, instead of mixed teams, the league fielded two teams based on nationalities – India 7 vs World 7. The latter had won the game.
Other Significant Improvements
The starting time of the game was also a point of discussion at the general council. The broadcaster Star India had batted for a time earlier than the usual 8 pm IST considering how some games stretch past 12 pm.
However, with the counterpoint that dew factor might be beneficial to a single team ensured that the start time of the evening matches will be unchanged.
Moreover, the number of double-games in the 2020 IPL has been reduced to just four.
Curiously, the main schedule of the tournament is still unannounced even as the tournament is just two month’s time away, although it is understood that the schedule will be out later this week.
Taking another important step forward towards a women’s IPL, the BCCI has opted to add another side to the women’s T20 exhibition matches it has been organizing over the last 2 IPL seasons.
While the 2018 season featured two teams (Trailblazers and Supernovas), last season saw the addition of third-team – Velocity.
And now, a yet-to-be-named fourth team will be added for the 2020 season.
Other revolutionary moves include a concussion substitution as well as a third umpire to keep a check on no-balls.