IPL 2021 Phase 2: It seems the Board Of Control For Cricket In India (BCC) has a big job at hand to successfully organize the remainder of the IPL 2021 season. BCCI on Saturday announced in its Special General Meeting (SGM) about the fate of the IPL after the tournament was suspended on May 4 owing to rising cases of Covid-19 inside the bio-bubble. The board revealed that the IPL 2021 will shift to the UAE, after the completion of India’s tour of England, and will finish before the ICC T20 World Cup scheduled to start in October. As per reports, the remaining 31 games will be played at three different venues – Dubai, Sharjah and Abu Dhabi.
Now in a big development, it’s being reported that West Indies players may give a miss to the cash-rich tournament.
Earlier, news broke in the media that BCCI was in discussion with Cricket West Indies to prepone the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) 2021, but that seems highly unlikely considering the packed schedule and the upcoming T20 World Cup.
The CPL is scheduled for a start on August 28 with the final on September 19. West Indies will then gear for a tri-series against Australia and Afghanistan, followed by the ICC T20 World Cup.
Also, IPL 2021 is likely to start around September 19 and September 20. The schedule too packed with little or no room to make changes.
Cricbuzz reported the following statement of Cricket West Indies:
“We are talking to the BCCI to understand exactly when their first match will be and what the protocols will be for our CPL players, staff and commentators to land in the UAE if they have travelled from a bio-secure environment in St. Kitts (the venue of the CPL), especially if they are fully vaccinated. We also need to understand the date of the final as we are due to play a tri-series hosted by Afghanistan with Australia.”
It’s safe to assume that the IPL 2021 Phase 2 could lose West Indies players.
It will be catastrophic to the IPL TRP if, indeed, WI players are not available when the IPL 2021 restarts in UAE. Players such as Chris Gayle, Kieron Pollard and Andre Russell are household names in India and boast a huge fan following. Moreover, a lot of IPL franchise will have to redo their tactics. Mumbai Indians and Kolkata Knight Riders will feel the most damage as Kieron Pollard and Andre Russel are integral to their team’s setup.
England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) Director of Cricket Ashley Giles dropped a bomb when he reiterated his desire to have all the big English players available for the national assignments.
IPL’s restart dated is going to collide with England’s scheduled tour to Pakistan and Bangladesh and Giles wants to have his big-name players such as Jos Buttler, Ben Stokes, Jofra Archer (if fit), Eoin Morgan, to name a few, to choose national assignments over the riches of IPL.