IPL 2021 Phase 2 in UAE – ECB in a fix? Emirates Cricket Board (ECB) is in a fix as they are about to encounter a problem of plenty on their plate very soon. Amid the Covid-19 pandemic, be it the Board of Control of Cricket in India (BCCI), Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) or even International Cricket Council (ICC) all require grounds in UAE to fulfil forthcoming domestic and international commitments. The UAE is standby venue for ICC T20 World Cup.
IPL 2021 Phase 2 in UAE – ECB in a fix? The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has made the UAE Asia’s premier sporting destination with numerous tournaments including IPL 2021 and PSL 2021 are getting scheduled in UAE.
- PSL 2021 will be played in the UAE starting June
- BCCI is looking to host IPL 2021 Phase 2 games in UAE between Sep 15th to Oct 15th and has started looking to book venues for the window
- PCB has two bilateral series scheduled in UAE in Sep against New Zealand & Afghanistan
- ICC is also keeping UAE on stand-by for T20 World Cup shift from India
- Besides this UAE has their own domestic and international commitmments.
ECB in a fix: Two moot questions ECB and others will need to answer very soon?
- How much UAE or ECB can organize? Will wickets, facilities sustain so much of cricket without compromising with the quality of cricket ?
- If ICC decides to move T20 World Cup from India to UAE, how it will be possible for BCCI to organize IPL 2021 Phase 2 in UAE. As per the ICC requirements, ICC will need grounds at their disposal 15 days prior to the mega-event i.e 1st Oct – how in such a situation IPL 2021 remaining games can happen in UAE?
“We have made it clear to BCCI that in case the ICC shifts the T20 World Cup out of India we have to hand over the grounds to them by October 1,” sources in the ECB told the Telegraph.
Check ou why Emirates Cricket Board will find it difficult to provide grounds to the BCCI for IPL 20201.
IPL 2021 phase 2 in UAE: PSL 2021: The UAE will host 20 matches of the PSL 2021 Phase 2, starting June 5. While the ECB and the PCB are yet to officially confirm the fixture, it is all but agreed, occupying the ground for a minimum of 20 days.
Pakistan vs Afghanistan: Afghanistan’s home ground is either India or the UAE. If the COVID-19 crisis meant Rashid Khan & Co play the series in the UAE, it will be slated for early September that will include 3 ODIs, meaning occupying at least a week.
Pakistan vs New Zealand: New Zealand are due to play Pakistan in 3 ODIs and 3 T20Is in UAE in September-October, occupying at least 15 days in the calendar. With BCCI planning to host IPL 2021 from September 15 to October 15, it will be impossible to accommodate both for ECB.
IPL 2021 phase 2 in UAE: Afghanistan vs Ireland: Before the ICC T20 World Cup from October 18, Ireland will play Afghanistan in the UAE for a 3-match T20I series, taking at least a week. As Afghanistan can’t play at home and India remaining unavailable, they will either have to reschedule to another venue or postpone the series if IPL 2021 takes place.
ICC T20 World Cup: However, among all, the biggest problem could ICC T20 World Cup. If the ICC goes ahead with UAE as the preferred venue instead of India, the Emirates Cricket Board will have to hand over the grounds by October 1 to the ICC. That will essentially stop any possibility of conducting IPL 2021 Phase 2 in the UAE.
IPL 2021 phase 2 in UAE: Slow pitches: If BCCI somehow works out the plans to conduct the IPL 2021 there, it will face problems with slow pitches. With so many matches, the pitches will be overburdened and will turn slowly, taking away the essence of high-scoring matches in IPL, something that was seen in Chennai before the tournament was suspended.
COVID-19 Vaccinations: Even if the Emirates Cricket Board comes to an agreement with the BCCI, the next hurdle is vaccination. The UAE government currently has a travel ban for India and even if the restrictions are lifted, it requires mandatory vaccination for all.
In IPL, around 700-800 people including players, their families, match officials, coaching staff, franchise officials and BCCI officials are present. While Team India members have already been vaccinated, the domestic cricketers are yet to receive one. Furthermore, immunizing everyone amid a shortage of vaccines will be a huge problem.
“The UAE has been very stringent on compliance of vaccination for its citizens and those arriving here. For matches in Abu Dhabi, the same process as last year could be followed where teams staying in Dubai could visit and come back on match days after going through Covid-19 tests,” sources told Telegraph.