The schedule of the 13th season of the Indian Premier League will be released on Sunday, IPL chairman Brijesh Patel told ANI on Saturday. IPL 2020 is all set to start from September 19 in the United Arab Emirates. All eight teams are currently awaiting the release of fixtures but due to different quarantine rules in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, IPL’s operations team took time to finalise the schedule.

Owing to the coronavirus pandemic, the IPL will be held in three cities of the UAE– Abu Dhabi, Dubai, and Sharjah. The teams of the IPL have reached the country and have been practicing for the upcoming season. Chennai Super Kings (CSK), the last team to start practice, stepped on the field on Friday after the players took their COVID-19 tests the third time. 

However, top players including Suresh Raina, Harbhajan Singh and Lasith Malinga have pulled out of the league citing personal reasons.

“Dear Friends
I will not be playing IPL this year due to personal reasons.These are difficult times and I would expect some privacy as I spend time with my family. @ChennaiIPL CSK management has been extremely supportive and I wish them a great IPL,” Harbhajan Singh, the latest player to pull out of the games, tweeted. 

On August 29, the Board of Control for Cricket in India had released an official statement confirming that a total of 13 personnel, including two players, had tested positive for COVID-19. However, their identities were not revealed.

“13 personnel have tested positive of which 2 are players. All the affected personnel as well as their close contacts are asymptomatic and have been isolated from other team members. They are being monitored by the IPL Medical Team,” the BCCI had said in the statement.

It is expected that defending champions Mumbai Indians and runners-up Chennai Super Kings will be pitted against each other in the first game of this edition of the tournament on September 19.

The upcoming 53-day edition is by far the longest in the history of the league and the number of double headers is expected to be reduced this year.