Buzz missing but IPL aims to bring normality amid pandemic

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After months of uncertainty due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the delayed season of the popular Indian Premier League will kick off in the United Arab Emirates on Saturday with a clash between defending champions Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings.

The 2020 edition of the world’s richest Twenty20 league was originally scheduled to begin on March 29 in India but had to be postponed indefinitely by the country’s cricket board (BCCI) due to worsening situation of the pandemic.

IPL’s cancellation would have meant a potential $534 million loss in revenue, leading the board to shift the tournament out of India, which is the world’s second-worst affected country with over five million cases of coronavirus infections.

The postponement of this year’s Twenty20 World Cup in Australia because of the pandemic also helped. It presented a window in the international cricket calendar for the eight-team league, which is attended by most of the world’s top players.