Editorial: Game on

IPL is back with its 14th edition that will commence at Chennai’s M A Chidambaram Stadium with defending champion Mumbai Indians taking on Royal Challengers Bangalore.

The previous tournament, a much-delayed one due to the pandemic, had concluded at Dubai on 10 November, last year. After a five-month gap, the latest version rolls in with its share of 60 matches in a schedule that stretches all the way to 30 May.

IPL is no doubt the biggest sporting action. It will be played behind closed doors for the second time. The 2020 edition in the UAE was one of the most-watched sporting events globally in the absence of other live content. This time there is much more at stake.

With the 2021 World Cup taking place in India, expect not just the India selectors but also those from other international teams to take learnings from this IPL into their plans for the marquee tournament. For the eight franchises, though, the T20 World Cup could potentially be a distraction they could do without. There is every reason for the franchises to fear that their best players might have one eye on their workloads in order to avoid injuries ahead of the World Cup.

 

NT Bureau