IPL 2021 Phase 2: The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has hit another hurdle in terms of players’ availability. What comes as a major setback is South African players’ availability as David Miller, Lungi Ngidi, Kagiso Rabada and others could miss the 1st week in the UAE. However, there are some good news regarding England players’ availability as their series against Bangladesh remains doubtful due to COVID-19 protocols.
The latest hurdle involves South Africa’s tour of Sri Lanka just before the IPL 2021. The limited-overs series begins with three ODIs from September 2 and ends on September 14 with the 3rd T20, just five days before the IPL starts on September 19.
The problem is that the UAE government is unlikely to allow bubble-to-bubble transfer from Sri Lanka due to the country being on a red-list due to the COVID-19 situation as per a Cricbuzz report. That means, even though South African cricketers will be able to leave on September 15, David Miller, Lungi Ngidi, Kagiso Rabada will have to spend 7-10 days in quarantine in the UAE before entering IPL’s bio-bubble, rendering them out of the first week of IPL in UAE.
The same will not be the case for West Indies cricketers who will be coming from Caribbean Premier League. The likes of Kieron Pollard, Chris Gayle and Andre Russell will take a chartered flight from St Lucia and will join IPL’s bio-bubble directly without having to serve a quarantine period. That is made possible due to the green status of St Lucia and other Caribbean islands.
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IPL 2021 Phase 2: England cricketers might be available, decision in a week
However, the good news is that England players might be available to play in the IPL 2021 after all. Even though the England & Wales Cricket Board (ECB) Managing Director Ashley Giles declared that English players won’t take part in the 2nd phase of IPL 2021 as they will be touring Bangladesh for a limited-overs series as preparations for T20 World Cup, the series is doubtful.
The limited-overs series was supposed to be played in October, simultaneously with IPL 2021. But Bangladesh’s COVID-19 situation and restrictions could see the series being postponed to a later date. In a meeting on July 31 in Delhi, BCCI members discussed the players’ availability issue and assured that the talks are ongoing with other cricket boards to ensure foreign players’ participation as per the Cricbuzz report. A decision on England players’ availability in IPL 2021 will be taken in a week depending on the series’ future.