IPL 2021 to Resume in UAE in September

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The 14th edition of the Indian Premier League will resume in UAE according to the latest BCCI release.

The decision to shift the IPL to UAE was taken after considering that the pandemic situation in the country has worsened in the last month. With the ICC FTP for international teams making the window for the IPL rather small, BCCI have found a three-week period between the tour of England and the T20 World Cup to complete the remaining games of the IPL.

The decision to move it to UAE was taken at a Special General Meeting (SGM) where the  members agreed to continue the IPL in UAE in September.

The ICC were also due to discuss the status of the T20 World Cup 2021 on June 1, but the BCCI have asked for an extension to confirm if they could host the tournament in India.

“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,” the BCCI statement said.

“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.

Who might miss the tournament?

The availability of England players is uncertain after ECB men’s director of cricket, Ashley Giles, said that the international players cannot take a break from the international schedule to play in the IPL. With England having tours to Pakistan and Bangladesh in the window, all of them are likely to miss the IPL.

The Caribbean Premier League runs till right before the start of the proposed IPL start date and could even overlap the schedule by a couple of days. This means a few of the West Indies players and a couple of common overseas stars will have to fly in after the IPL has begun. Hopefully, they will have chartered flights and bubble to bubble transfer to avoid quarantine measures before playing.

Which team does the shift favour?

Royal Challengers Bangalore and Delhi Capitals were in the top three of the points table when the IPL was called off. Both sides don’t have major overseas players from England or Australia, the two groups likely to miss a portion of the IPL, if not the entire rescheduled tournament.

RCB had a good season in UAE last year and Delhi reached the finals of IPL 2020 where they lost to Mumbai Indians. The teams are familiar with the conditions and have the strength in batting and bowling to counter the conditions.

Which teams will find the shift tough?

Kolkata Knight Riders have major overseas stars in Eoin Morgan and Pat Cummins and both will likely miss the rescheduled IPL. Andre Russell might also only arrive late due to his CPL commitments. While it is said that BCCI could allow for replacement players if players are due to miss the entire season, given the current squad depth, Kolkata, already near the bottom of the points table, could be affected most.

Rajasthan Royals are also in a soup with Jos Buttler, on top of Ben Stokes and Jofra Archer, certain to miss the tournament. This leaves them with three frontline overseas players missing. With three wins in seven games and just behind Mumbai at fifth in the points table, Rajasthan would have hoped to put up a decent fight for the play-offs were the tournament to continue in India. Sadly, they will now have to adjust to UAE with a depleted squad.

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