IPL 2021 remaining matches: New Dates, venues, difficulties BCCI can face; all you need to know

IPL 2021 Phase 2: RR, KKR & DC, 3 franchises will behardest hit by players pull out before IPL in UAE in September; Eoin Morgan, Pat Cummins
IPL 2021 Phase 2: RR, KKR & DC, 3 franchises will behardest hit by players pull out before IPL in UAE in September; Eoin Morgan, Pat Cummins

IPL 2021 remaining matches: New Dates, venues, difficulties BCCI can face; all you need to know: The BCCI has been in a tight spot in penning down a new schedule for IPL 2021 remaining matches. The tournament was suspended after 29 matches with the BCCI, failing to maintain IPL 2021’s bio-bubble and rising number of COVID-19 cases in franchises. On May 29, the BCCI has called for a special general meeting (SGM) to deliberate on the ICC T20 World Cup and the IPL 2021. With India still reeling under the second wave of COVID-19, hosting the remaining 31 matches could be a big challenge but more than that, it is the packed FTP windows that have left BCCI worried.

Conducting the IPL 2021 remaining matches before or after ICC T20 World Cup was the initial idea when suspending the tournament. The franchises and players were informed about the September window. However, that now seems unlikely with England and other boards busy with their FTP commitments. That’s not the only problem though. Here’s all you need to know about the IPL 2021 remaining matches.

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When will BCCI be deciding on the new dates of IPL 2021 remaining matches?

The BCCI has called for an SGM on May 29 to discuss the potential dates. As the board will have to take a call on the tournament by June, it is expected to decide on the possible window that day over a video conference.

When will IPL 2021 be held?

The IPL 2021 remaining matches can only be held before or after the ICC T20 World Cup as Team India will be touring England for a three-month-long series including the ICC WTC Final against New Zealand. Hence, in September, before the ICC T20 World Cup, there is a possible window. Otherwise, they will have to conduct the tournament immediately after the World Cup.

What are the potential venues for IPL 2021?

If India’s COVID-19 caseload decreases significantly by June, there is still hope for IPL 2021 remaining matches to be conducted in India. But the BCCI has already kept an eye on potential other venues with the UAE most favourite destination. Other than that, England could be a potential venue as many counties have expressed interest in hosting the tournament. Besides the UK, Australia and Sri Lanka are two other potential venues with the latter also expressing interest.

What are the difficulties BCCI can face?

Reason1 – England, New Zealand, Afghanistan cricketers unavailable: While the ECB Director Ashley Giles has already said that England players will not be for remaining available during the window due to FTP commitments, New Zealand too will be playing Pakistan in a limited-overs, rendering players unavailable.

Reason 2 – Are UAE grounds available? The biggest hassle could be hosting matches if UAE is selected as the venue. The UAE will be hosting Pakistan’s home series against New Zealand and Afghanistan. And if T20 World Cup also gets shifted to UAE – then will not ICC book the stadiums in advance. So how it will be possible for BCCI to host IPL in UAE this time?

Reason 3 –  ICC may not be in favour: While BCCI has a big sway over the ICC, the world body may not like the idea of IPL 2021 right before the most marquee event in their portfolio i.e T20 World Cup. As per ICC Event Guidelines, 7 days before any ICC event & 7 days after the tournament – leave aside participation, ICC doesn’t even allow any marketing activity around any other event.

Reason 4 – India to host SA and NZ: The other reason is that the BCCI has already committed to hosting South Africa before the T20 World Cup in a limited-overs series that could not be completed in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Reason 5 – T20 World Cup: The other big reason is the ICC T20 World Cup itself. While hosting IPL 2021 matches after the World Cup seems difficult, cricket boards may not allow players to leave before the tournament as they could risk injuries. The 15-day window in September will be refused by boards like West Indies and Australia who would not want to risk players getting injured.

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How much will the BCCI lose if the IPL 2021 remaining matches do not take place?

BCCI President Sourav Ganguly has already hinted that the board will lose over Rs 2,000 crore in revenue if the IPL 2021 is cancelled. That means, even the franchise and the official broadcast partner Star Sports will lose out on a big chunk of the revenue.