The 2020 IPL season is likely to begin in late March, with the BCCI earmarking the period between March 28 and May 24 as the prospective window for the tournament. The upcoming edition will, for the first time, allow loans of capped players – Indian or overseas – between teams after the halfway point of the season.
Last year, the IPL had made a provision for uncapped players to be loaned mid-season in the manner of football transfers. A five-day window was opened after the halfway stage for uncapped players to be loaned, subject to the player not having played more than two matches. Mumbai Indians captain Rohit Sharma and head coach Mahela Jayawardene were among voices that had supported the move, but no franchise utilised the trading window.
However, teams might be more open next season, considering capped players would now be allowed to go on loan. The IPL has set the condition that the player needs to have played a maximum of two matches before the halfway mark (28 matches). The arrangement would be between the franchises and the money will be paid from outside the auction purse. The player will not benefit from the transfer, but the IPL would be notified about the transaction.
At a briefing on Wednesday in Kolkata, the venue for Thursday’s auction, the IPL told the eight franchises that the final dates for next year’s tournament would be worked out soon, but there would be an emphasis on reducing the number of day matches as far as possible. It is the start date that the IPL is understood to be working on, keeping in mind the availability of overseas players, who will start arriving around April 1, which happens to be a weekday. The IPL has, over the years, usually started during the weekend, so that is one aspect the organisers are concerned about.
The IPL also added half a dozen more names to the auction pool, which will now comprise 338 players. Four Indians and two overseas players figure among the six new names: Vinay Kumar, Ashok Dinda, Robin Bist, Sanjay Yadav, Matthew Wade, and Jake Weatherald.