The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) made the announcement of the IPL to be continued in the UAE. The announcement was made on Saturday, May 29th. The likely dates during which the remaining 31 matches will be played are from September 18th to October 10th. The decision to resume the earlier suspended league was taken on Saturday, unanimously by the members at the BCCI Special General Meeting (SGM). Earlier, it had come to light that not resuming the IPL 2021 season could cause the National Cricket Board to lose Rs. 2,500 crores of profit.
In its press release, the BCCI said, “The BCCI on Saturday announced to complete the remaining matches of the Vivo Indian Premier League 2021 season in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) considering the monsoon in India in the months of September-October this year.” It is pertinent to note that the entire 2020 season was also held in the UAE and things went without any obstructions.
The matter of India hosting the ICC T20 World Cup 2021 later this year was also discussed in the meeting. “The BCCI SGM further authorized the Office Bearers to seek an extension of time from the ICC to take an appropriate call on the hosting of ICC T20 World Cup 2021”, the press release mentioned. The board has asked for time till the first week of July from ICC to make the required decision.
The decision of the BCCI to move the remainder of the season to UAE was largely expected as it had earlier had an informal agreement with the Emirates Cricket Board. The biggest hurdle in the smooth continuation of the season will be the non-availability of the foreign players due to which the BCCI will have to ask all the 8 franchises to find replacements both from India and overseas in order to complete their line-ups. A break in the momentum is another issue which the teams might have to struggle with.
England and Wales Cricket Boards have already refused to release their players for the unfinished part of IPL 2021, while Cricket Australia is yet to decide on the matter and therefore, a meeting with the IPL franchises is expected to take place at some later stage. Citing a busy schedule of the English Cricket team, England Men’s team Managing Director Ashley Giles had recently said, “We have a full schedule. If we go from the end of the fifth Test in September, we are set to leave for Bangladesh on September 19 or 20. We have a full schedule right through including Pakistan and wherever the T20 World Cup is.”
He had added, “We are going to have to give some of these guys a break at some point. But the intention of giving guys a break for, say, Bangladesh, wouldn’t be for them to go and play cricket elsewhere.” The availability of the Kiwis is also highly unlikely.
During the meeting, it was also decided that the BCCI will hold talks with the government over tax concessions for the T20 world cup; and a conclusion was reached that the BCCI will have a liability worth Rs. 900 crores if it failed to get the exemption.
Apart from this, the issue of compensating domestic players after several documents were not hosted was also raised by one of the associations; but the matter was turned down by Sourav Ganguly and Rajeev Shukla. They stated that it was not a part of the agenda. BCCI President Sourav Ganguly chaired the meeting from Mumbai.
The matches left to be played will be split into 10 double headers, 7 single headers, and finally 4 playoffs. Before the league was stalled, 29 matches which kept the viewers on the edge were already played. The league had commenced on April 9th with RCB taking on MI; the last match was held when DC had locked horns with PBKS. Up until the 29th face-off, the Delhi Capitals (DC) was on the helm of the points table with a total of 12 points after winning 6 out of the 8 matches they had played. While the Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) saw itself placed at the very bottom of the table as they had managed to win only 1 match out of the 7 played. After David Warner was replaced by Kane Williamson as the squad’s captain, the team was gaining lost momentum. Unfortunately, it could not show its mettle due to the season’s abrupt pause.
While Shikhar Dhawan had the Orange Cap with a total of 380 runs in the 8 games that he played for Delhi Capitals, second in the race of bagging the Orange Cap was KL Rahul of the PBKS and CSK’s Faf Du Plessis at the third spot with a spectacular performance. At the 10th position of the run to the Orange Cap, was Glen Maxwell from RCB.
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