IPL 2021 Phase 2: The BCCI’s decision to resume IPL 2021 in the UAE might have come as a sigh of relief for franchises and cricketers but it hasn’t been so for other cricket boards. After England made its players unavailable for IPL 2021 Phase 2 and New Zealand playing bilateral series, Australian players could also be unavailable with KKR’s Pat Cummins all but certain to not return for the UAE leg.
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) officially confirmed on Saturday that the IPL 2021 will resume in the UAE tentatively from September 19-20 with the final being played on October 10, just 8 days ahead of the scheduled ICC World T20 World Cup. But even as the BCCI promises to work with other cricket boards including Cricket West Indies to make overseas players available, it could be left disappointed.
While Ashley Giles, England and Wales Cricket Board’s (ECB) managing director has ruled out England players from taking part in IPL 2021 Phase 2 and there are doubts over the availability of New Zealand players, Cricket Australia is also mulling over the decision to not allow its cricketers owing to workload and bio-bubble fatigue ahead of the ICC T20 World Cup.
IPL 2021 Phase 2: The first part of the IPL 2021 saw as many as 40 Australians including 17 cricketers taking part with Punjab Kings heavily depended on the Aussie contingent. But reports in Australian media suggest that Cricket Australia could take a call on players’ participation due to workload management.
Australia will tour West Indies for 5 T20Is and 3 ODIs in July, followed by a five-match T20I series against Bangladesh away in August. While Australia do not have any bilateral commitments in the September-October window, Cricket Australia faces a tough call to decide whether it should leave players ahead of the ICC T20 World Cup.
“That’s what most of us are wary of, the availability of English and Aussie cricketers. If there are players who decide not to travel for whatever reasons, adequate replacements will have to be sought,” a source, tracking development in franchises, told Times of India.
Furthermore, Sydney Morning Herald reported that Pat Cummins has made himself not available for the IPL 2021 in UAE without citing any reason, dealing a big blow to KKR. “Cummins, despite a multimillion-dollar IPL contract, has already said he will not return to the T20 tournament this season,” the newspaper said.
IPL 2021 Phase 2: Cricket boards in a fix
– England: ECB MD Ashley Giles has already confirmed that England players will not be available as national commitments will come first, ruling out 14 cricketers.
– Bangladesh: Bangladesh will play against England and Australia at home to prepare for the ICC T20 World Cup, ruling out Shakib Al Hasan and Mustafizur Rahman.
– New Zealand: Kane Williamson & Co will play 3-match ODI and T20I series against Pakistan during the window, meaning most players will not be available for the most part of the IPL 2021 in UAE as they may need to undergo quarantine if New Zealand play in Pakistan. That rules out as many as 8 players from IPL including SRH captain Kane Williamson.
– West Indies: Cricket West Indies is expected to cooperate with the BCCI in rescheduling and advancing the CPL 2021 and Pakistan series to make way for Andre Russell and others to leave for IPL. But many of them may not be available for the initial part of the tournament.
– Australia: Cricket Australia is facing a tough choice with IPL. While the morality of the tournament plays a big role amid the COVID-19 pandemic as Australian media heavily reported the COVID crisis in India, players’ workload management is the other reason. After one and a half months of gruelling cricket in the West Indies and Bangladesh, CA will have to give cricketers a break ahead of the ICC T20I World Cup to keep them fresh. Hence, they may not allow them to leave for IPL as per a report in Sydney Morning Herald. Furthermore, Pat Cummins has ruled himself out of IPL 2021 Phase 2. If that happens, 17 Australian cricketers could miss out.