IPL 2021 remaining matches – Will BCCI get window for IPL 2021 Phase 2? The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is in a difficult position for conducting the remaining matches of IPL 2021 after the tournament was suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic. With 31 matches still left in the tournament to be played, the BCCI is trying to explore multiple windows, especially before or after the ICC T20 World Cup. However as explained by Rajasthan Royals owner Manoj Badale, ‘that may not be possible because of the packed calendar’. But calendar is not the only reason, there are other reasons too that will make BCCI’s task very difficult.
IPL 2021 remaining matches – While the major roadblock is the ICC T20 World Cup, BCCI was contemplating the best possible window as players could get vital T20 practice before the tournament. However, with COVID-19 derailing many bilateral series, cricket boards including England have already voiced their opinion against allowing cricketers to leave for IPL 2021 remaining matches.
Furthermore, BCCI president Sourav Ganguly has already declared that India will not be the host to the tournament anymore. Finding a right host as well will be a tough task for BCCI this time because of various reasons. While Sri Lanka and England have expressed interest in hosting the matches, the BCCI has also been exploring UAE as an alternate venue.
As per the information available with InsideSport.co & also after talking to various concerned authorities, InsideSport has zeroed down on 5 reasons which will make BCCI’s task difficult to host IPL 2021 Phase 2
IPL 2021 remaining matches – Will BCCI get window for IPL 2021 Phase 2? 5 reasons why BCCI is unlikely to get a window for IPL 2021 before or after ICC T20 World Cup
Reason1 – England, New Zealand, Afghanistan cricketers unavailable: While England and Wales Cricket Board’s Director Ashley Giles has already said that England players will not be available during the window due to FTP commitments, New Zealand too will be playing Pakistan in a limited-overs series in the UAE in September before the World Cup. As for England, they will tour Bangladesh in a limited-overs series.
Afghanistan is scheduled to play Pakistan. Bangladesh is scheduled to play England – all of these series before ICC T20 World Cup clearly proves 50% of the foreign players will become redundant if IPL 2021 Phase 2 is scheduled before T20 World Cup.
Reason 2 – Are UAE grounds available? : The biggest hassle could be hosting matches. Hosting IPL 2021 remaining matches in England may not be a possibility due to Covid-19 related protocols. It will be tough for BCCI & IPL to follow all quarantine protocols & organize IPL in a country like UK.
The best possible venue other than India is the UAE but even series featuring Pakistan team against New Zealand & Afghanistan is scheduled there. And if T20 World Cup also gets shifted to UAE – then will not ICC book the stadiums in advance. So how it will be possible for BCCI to host IPL in UAE this time?
Reason 3 – ICC may not be in favour: While BCCI has a big sway over the ICC, the world body may not like the idea of IPL 2021 right before the most marquee event in their portfolio i.e T20 World Cup. As per ICC Event Guidelines, 7 days before any ICC event & 7 days after the tournament – leave aside participation, ICC doesn’t even allow any marketing activity around any other event.
If IPL 2021 remaining matches are conducted before ICC World Cup, the marquee tournament which will be back after five years could lose its sheen & ICC is unlikely to allow that to happen.
Reason 4 – India to host SA and NZ: The other reason is that the BCCI has already committed to hosting South Africa before the T20 World Cup in a limited-overs series that could not be completed in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Furthermore, India also has planned short series against New Zealand. Now BCCI will have to cancel or postpone these bilateral engagements. Will others agree?
Reason 5 – T20 World Cup: The other big reason is the ICC T20 World Cup itself. While hosting IPL 2021 matches after the World Cup seems difficult, cricket boards may not allow players to leave before the tournament as they could risk injuries. The 15-day window in September will be refused by boards like West Indies and Australia who would not want to risk players getting injured. For example, England’s Ben Stokes suffered an injury playing for Rajasthan Royals and was ruled out of the entire tournament. As per his current status, he will need another 7-8 weeks to completely recover after fracturing his finger.