The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on Saturday announced that the remainder of Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 will be played in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
The board decided to organise the remaining matches of IPL in the months of September and October considering the monsoon season in India in those months. The decision was taken at BCCI’s Special General Meeting (SGM) which was held virtually on Saturday.
There are 31 matches that are yet to be played in IPL 2021. The likely dates will be between September 18 and October 10.
IPL 2021 had been postponed on May 4 after several players and support staff across teams tested positive for COVID-19.
“The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on Saturday announced to complete the remaining matches of VIVO Indian Premier League 2021 season in the United Arab Emirates (U.A.E) considering the monsoon season in India in the months of September-October this year,” BCCI said in a press release.
“The decision was taken at a Special General Meeting (SGM) held virtually, where members unanimously agreed to resume IPL.
It’s not surprising that the UAE emerged as the consensus venue, considering the entire IPL 2020 was held there and things went off smoothly.
India are also scheduled to host the ICC T20 World Cup later this year and that matter too was discussed at the meeting.
“The BCCI SGM further authorised 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 release from the BCCI said.
The senior state association member said there is also a tax rebate issue which is still an ongoing process.
“ICC wants tax waivers but we have to abide by government guidelines. But a World T20 in India means that all the stakeholders happen to gain. But sitting in May, you can’t predict the health emergency in October. So we need some time,” he said.
While IPL’s UAE shift was a foregone conclusion, the office bearers intimated the general body about the issue of availability of players.
“The BCCI is pretty clear that even if there is a case of unavailability of English players due to their series against Pakistan, we are not going to plead to any of the boards about releasing their players.
“The first and foremost thing is to complete the 31 remaining games of the IPL. We believe other aspects will be taken care of,” he added.
The IPL was postponed after a flurry of cases emerged inside the bio-bubble with players and support staff from Kolkata Knight Riders, Chennai Super Kings and SunRisers Hyderabad among other teams testing positive for the virus in succession.
As many as 29 matches were held this season before the tournament came to a halt.
After two players in the Kolkata Knight Riders camp – Varun Chakravarthy and Sandeep Warrier – tested positive, KKR’s match against Royal Challengers Bangalore May 3 was postponed.
Soon after, with players from other teams also testing positive, the league was postponed altogether.