IPL 2021 Phase 2: The BCCI has requested the ECB (England and Wales Cricket Board) to reschedule the Test series as it wants to find a possible window for IPL 2021 Phase 2. However, both BCCI and the ECB have their own priorities, meaning a formal request to strain the relations between the two most powerful cricket boards in the world. Renowned cricket commentator Harsha Bhogle believes, the request, although not officially made, will definitely be a test of relations.
Taking to Twitter, Harsha Bhogle, who is among the commentators for IPL 2021, said India’s request to ECB to tweak the schedule will lead to trade-offs and would test the close relationship the two boards enjoy.
India’s request to the @ECB_cricket to reschedule the tests to try and accommodate the 2nd half of the #IPL is going to test the close relationship the two boards enjoy. There will be a trade-off but it will be wonderful if a common path can be found. Interesting times ahead.
— Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) May 20, 2021
“India’s request to @ECB_cricket to reschedule the tests to try and accommodate the 2nd half of the #IPL is going to test the close relationship the two boards enjoy. There will be a trade-off but it will be wonderful if a common path can be found. Interesting times ahead,” Harsha Bhogle said.
IPL 2021 Phase 2: The BCCI is set for a Special General Meeting (SGM) on May 29 to take a call on the IPL 2021 remaining matches and work out a possible 15-day window to complete 31 matches. If IPL 2021 is cancelled, the BCCI will face a massive loss of over Rs 2,000 crore and that will also affect the franchises and its official broadcast partner Star Sports.
To avoid such a disaster, the BCCI is keeping the UK and UAE as two possible venues as conducting the IPL 2021 remaining matches in India is virtually impossible with scientists warning of a possible third wave in September-October.
IPL 2021 Phase 2: But the request also puts the ECB in a difficult position. Denying BCCI’s request may not bode well in future as the Indian board is the de facto leader of world cricket. But by accepting such a request, ECB may face severe criticism at home, especially from the fans who have already bought tickets and have made travel arrangements for the five-match Test series.
Furthermore, it won’t please ECB’s official broadcast partner Sky Sports, which will have to rejig the program schedule and logistics accordingly. Rechilling the Test match series will for sure impact ECB’s pet project The Hundred which is scheduled to begin on July 21 with star England cricketers playing franchise cricket in a 100-ball tournament. It could see England stars like Ben Stokes, Joe Root, Moeen Ali and others miss out on many matches of The Hundred and the franchises, sponsors and fans won’t be happy with that.
Mike Atherton, former England captain, writing for The Times, said that BCCI’s request to the ECB puts the England board in a tricky position.