IPL 2021 Phase 2: The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has zeroed in on the date for the resumption of the 14th edition of the Indian Premier League to be held in UAE. The first game on resumption will be played on September 19 while the final will be hosted on October 15 — the day India will be celebrating Dussehra this year.
“September 15 to October 15 is the window. Initially, BCCI was thinking of having 10 double headers. But, in third and fourth week of September, having 10 afternoon matches can be physically exhausting for player in such short window,” a BCCI source told PTI on the condition of anonymity.
“So if October 15, which is a Friday is zeroed in on, it’s basically start of weekend in India and in Dubai, it’s a holiday which will allow fans to come in and enjoy a high-profile game of cricket. It serves dual purpose. Also, the number of double headers could be reduced to five or six, instead of 10,” the source said.
Speaking to ANI, a BCCI official in the know of developments of the recent meetings between the BCCI and the Emirates Cricket Board (ECB) said the discussions went well and the Indian board is confident that the remaining IPL games will be held successfully in Dubai, Sharjah and Abu Dhabi.
“The discussions went really well and with ECB already giving us the oral nod to host the event ahead of the BCCI SGM, it was about closing the deal over the last week. The first game after the season resumes will be held on September 19 while we will have the final on October 15. The BCCI was always keen on a 25-day window to finish the remaining matches,” the official said.
Asked about the situation with regards to availability of the foreign players, the official said talks are on and the Indian board expects positive outcomes.
“The discussions have started and we are keeping fingers crossed that the foreign players will be mostly available. If a couple of them do not manage to turn up, we shall then decide on the future course of action. But keeping fingers crossed for now and hoping to have an action-packed end to the 14th edition in UAE,” the official said.
In fact, franchises are also confident that the BCCI will engage in positive discussions with the foreign boards and make players available for the remaining games.
“What we were made aware after the BCCI SGM is that the board will be speaking to the foreign boards and check on the availability of the foreign cricketers. We are confident that the BCCI will find the best possible solution and honestly it is a matter of the BCCI officials speaking to the respective board officials, so we should wait to hear from the board on this.
“Yes, if we do end up missing some of the foreign stars, that is an area which would need some attention when it comes to picking replacements as the foreign players are also integral to the teams. Team balance can go for a toss, so keeping fingers crossed on that one,” the franchise official said