The BCCI was forced to suspend the 2021 IPL in early May after India experienced a huge outbreak of COVID-19 and the IPL bubble was breached. The BCCI called off the tournament midway and since then has been working behind the scenes to see if and when it can schedule the remainder of the IPL in 2021.
The IPL is the cash cow for the BCCI and is also huge for both domestic and international players as they take home massive paycheques. The BCCI is expected to carry out the remainder of the 2021 IPL between September and October in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
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2021 IPL – Phase 2 In The UAE
The first phase of IPL 2021 was held in India as the BCCI deemed that the COVID-19 situation was under control but got their predictions wrong. The BCCI has now decided that it is not possible to host the second phase of the IPL in India and has decided to once again shift the tournament over to the UAE.
The BCCI hosted IPL 2020 in the UAE and ran a very successful tournament and is confident that it will be able to pull of the second phase of IPL 2021 by arranging matches between Dubai, Sharjah and Abu Dhabi.
While no official confirmation has been made by the BCCI as of now, the dates for the second phase of the 2021 IPL are expected to be from September 18 to October 12. These are the best dates that the BCCI could work in, given the fact that the ICC 2021 T20 World Cup is expected to start in middle of October in the UAE.
Many Overseas Players Will Miss Out
This schedule for the second phase of the 2021 IPL will work out for the Indian players but it will be difficult on a lot of overseas players. The India vs. England series in England will finish on September 14 and the Indian team will fly directly to the UAE to start playing the 2021 IPL from Sep 18.
However England is set to fly out to Bangladesh for a white ball series that will go into October. The Caribbean Premier League (CPL) which is the T20 domestic series in the West Indies is expected to start from Aug 28 and will run till Sep 19 which means a number of overseas players engaged in the CPL will find it hard to play the first game games of the 2021 IPL – second phase.
A few Aussie players have also said they might end up opting out of the second phase of IPL 2021 as there is too much back to back cricket scheduled. The top Aussie players will have to prepare for the second phase of the IPL, followed by the ICC T20 World Cup and then a huge summer of cricket back in Australia.
The BCCI has asked the CPL to consider if it can move up its dates by a week to allow players to be present for the start of the second phase of IPL 2021. Pat Cummins and Steve Smith have already confirmed that they will not take part in the IPL, while ODI and T20 captain Aaron Finch has said he felt it was going to be very difficult for the Aussie players to be a part of the 2021 IPL.
We will have to wait and see how the IPL teams perform if they don’t have their top overseas players available for the second phase of IPL 2021. If you want to bet on other sports apart from cricket, sign up below.