The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on Saturday announced to complete the remaining matches of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 season. The remaining matches will be played in the United Arab Emirates (U.A.E). This is because of the monsoon season in India in the months of September-October this year.
The BCCI has already had an informal agreement with the Emirates Cricket Board. The formal decision was taken on Saturday (May 29) to move the remainder of IPL 2021 to the UAE.
Obstacles for BCCI to arrange IPL
There are several hurdles the BCCI faces in the limited window for the remainder of the IPL. Firstly, India’s five-match Test series in England is scheduled to end on September 14 in Manchester. Within a week after that, England are scheduled to travel to Bangladesh followed by Pakistan for white-ball series.
The series will be expected to go on till mid-October. More than a dozen of England’s top white-ball players feature in the IPL which will leave many franchises anxious about their unavailability.
The other key challenge is the CPL, which reiterated on Friday while announcing the players’ draft that the 2021 edition will be held between August 28 and September 19. A lot of the top Caribbean players and many other big-name overseas players and coaching staff are involved in the CPL.
BCCI has opened a dialogue with the CPL to try and convince them to tweak their schedule. This could then allow players to move between the bubbles in St Kitts (the CPL venue) and the UAE quickly But it will not be an easy task.
Advancing the CPL is hardly an option because West Indies’ home season ends on August 24, only four days before the CPL starts, and includes series against South Africa, Australia and Pakistan.
T20 World Cup soon after IPL
The ICC, too, has been clear that the window for the T20 World Cup, which is likely to be held between October 16-20 and November 14, cannot be changed. The ICC would also want the BCCI to take a call on whether the 16-team T20 World Cup can be hosted in India or should it also be moved to the UAE, which was nominated as the back-up venue.
The BCCI said the SGM had authorized the Office Bearers to seek an extension of time from the ICC to take an appropriate call” on hosting the T20 World Cup. The issue is one of the key items on the agenda of the ICC Board meet, scheduled for June 1, which BCCI president Sourav Ganguly is expected to attend.