IPL 2021 Phase 2: With IPL confirmed for September, BCCI’s biggest challenge now is players’ availability. The September-October window is the busiest this year due to a lot of international cricket taking place in the build-up to the T20 World Cup in October. The BCCI is in talks with cricket boards to figure out a solution to the problem. While England players are sure to miss the season, doubts over Australian and New Zealand players have also surfaced recently. The three nations along with South Africa comprise of most overseas players in IPL. With nearly 40 players pulling out of the remaining 31 games, franchises are looking for new replacement guidelines.
Punjab Kings CEO Satish Menon said they are waiting for BCCI’s approval before they can start scouting. “We will take a call on players’ replacement only after BCCI officially informs us that players will not be available,” he told InsideSport on Sunday.
PBKS will miss England’s Dawid Malan, Chris Jordan and Australia’s Moises Henriques. West Indian players like Chris Gayle, Nicholas Pooran and Chris Morris might also have to miss the first week.
IPL 2021 Phase 2: A majority of West Indies and a few South African players will be part of the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) 2021 which will take place from August 28 to September 19. BCCI is in talks with the West Indies cricket board to prepone the T20 league to make players available as soon as possible.
CSK CEO Kasi Vishwanathan, however, is not too worried about England players’ unavailability. “If the players from England are not released, there is not much we can do. We would lose two important players,” he told Hindustan Times, “But nothing has come to us officially on player availability.”
ECB Managing Director Ashley Giles has earlier announced that the players will not be released for the IPL 2021 Phase 2, given their national commitments. England is set to host Bangladesh and Pakistan for the white-ball series. While some players will be rested, it is majorly to keep them fresh for ICC”s showcase event, followed by Ashes in December.
“We’ve got a full Future Tours Programme. If those tours (of Bangladesh and Pakistan) are going ahead, I’d expect them (players) to be there. We are going to have to give some of these guys a break at some point. But the intention of giving guys a break for, say, Bangladesh, wouldn’t be for them to go and play cricket elsewhere. We have to manage our schedule now, so we get our guys arriving in the best shape possible for the T20 World Cup and the Ashes,” Giles had said.
BCCI Treasurer Arun Dhumal informed InsideSport that they are still in talks with ECB and are trying to find a way forward to the problem. “The dates need to be worked out. Now that the SGM has taken a call, we will work out the modalities. It has to be discussed with the ECB also,” he said.
IPL 2021 Phase 2: Big test for BCCI bosses
A lot is at stake for the BCCI and the concern of the availability of overseas players would be the test of managerial skills of the apex board. President Sourav Ganguly, Secretary Jay Shah and others will do all they can to convince the boards to release their players. However, it will not be an easy job as cricket boards like Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) have already sold their media rights for the next few months.