The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has decided to move the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 to the UAE in view of the Covid-19 situation in India.
The announcement was made by BCCI vice-president Rajeev Shukla on Saturday, reported news agency ANI.
The IPL matches are expected to resume tentatively on September 18 or 19 with as many as 10 double-headers to be played during a three-week window.
The final might be held on October 9 or 10. The three-week window will be enough for the league to complete its remaining 31 games for the season, a win-win scenario for all the primary stakeholders including the BCCI, franchises and broadcasters.
“The BCCI has spoken to all the stakeholders and the likely start could be between September 18th to 20th. Since September 18 is a Saturday and 19 a Sunday, it is more likely that you would want to re-start it on a weekend date,” an official was earlier quoted as saying by news agency PTI.
“Similarly, October 9th or 10th will be the final as it’s a weekend. We are finalising the itinerary and there will be 10 double headers and seven evening matches along with four main games (two qualifiers, one eliminator and the final), which completes the list of 31 matches,” the official added.
The Indian team’s last Test match against England is set to finish on September 14 at Manchester and on the next day, the whole team (save Hanuma Vihari and Abhimanyu Easwaran) will be flown to UAE in a chartered flight for a “bubble to bubble” transfer.
“The Indian team and the English players who will be available will fly in the same charter flight from Manchester to Dubai. Similarly, the West Indies players will also fly in after completing the Caribbean Premier League engagements. There will be three-day quarantine for players arriving from UK and the Caribbean,” the source said.
A franchise official confirmed that communication from BCCI has come on the matter.
The league was suspended indefinitely in early May after many players tested positive for Covid-19.
In an advisory, BCCI said that it does not want to compromise on the safety of the players, support staff and the other participants involved in organising the IPL. This decision was taken keeping the safety, health and well-being of all the stakeholders in mind.
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