IPL New Schedule: The remainder of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 season is set to resume in mid-September, after the conclusion of India’s five-match Tests tour of England. But the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) still have more to worry about despite carving out a window and finalising the venues. The biggest worry is that phase-2 of IPL 2021 could lose its shine, with TRPs not expected to top out.
The Covid-19 brought the IPL 2021 season to a premature halt on May 4, but the recent developments have brought a big sigh of relief for cricket fans.
The BCCI is set to shift the tournament to UAE, likely to start either on September 19 or September 20, with Dubai, Sharjah and Abu Dhabi muted as the three venues to play the remaining 31 matches.
But the biggest worry for the BCCI and the IPL Governing Council is that the September-October window is packed with international matches, with a host of cricket nations scheduled to play against each other. Most of the top foreign stars will be busy with their national sides.
ICC’s planned schedule to creating problems for the BCCI as foreign stars could give the IPL 2021 phase-2 a miss.
Then there’s a small matter of quarantine. Even if foreign players make themselves available, players will still have to adhere to quarantine protocols in the UAE, meaning, overseas players are certain to miss some IPL games in any case.
England and New Zealand cricket board have already declared that they will prefer their players choose national assignments over the riches of IPL if dates of the phase 2 clashes with the international series.
Whether the foreign players play or not, the BCCI is close to finalising the playing conditions for IPL 2021 phase-2. As per reports, the tournament is likely to restart either on September 19 or September 20 while the final is likely to be played on October 10. All the matches will take place at three venues, Dubai, Sharjah and Abu Dhabi, in UAE.
Since the BCCI have to shoehorn the remaining 31 matches in an 18-day window, phase 2 is likely to be packed with the 10 double headers, 7 single matchdays and 4 playoffs games.