Exclusive: UAE to host remainder of IPL 2021 season

Written by Sumit Seth

Cricket Age Exclusive

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is almost certain to conduct the remainder of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 season in September-October this year, Cricket Age exclusively learns. IPL 2021 was suspended on May 04 after COVID-19 cases were detected in the bio-bubbles of four teams.

Hemang Amin, the BCCI’s interim CEO, and also the COO of the IPL is ready with two separate drafts for the IPL 2021. Amin has prepared the documents with two choices to host the remainder of the season: the UAE and the UK. However, it is believed that Amin wished for the season to be completed in the UAE, and so do the franchises. The BCCI’s Special General Meeting (SGM) meeting is called for May 29 – two days before the ICC’s meeting on June 1 where the governing council will discuss the plans for the T20 World Cup.

Cricket Age understands that BCCI will take a final call on the venue and the window in the upcoming special general meeting on May 29. The BCCI might request the England Cricket Board (ECB) to tweak the current schedule of the upcoming five-match Test series between India and England to free up a few days for IPL 2021. India and England will play five Tests starting from August 04 with the series set to conclude on September 14.

There is a nine-day gap between the second and the third Test. BCCI might request ECB to reduce the gap to four days and wrap up the series earlier. However, the board has not yet opened discussions with the England Cricket Board in the matter.

However, even if BCCI decides to not tweak the schedule of the England Test series, it will have a 30-day window available between September 15 to October 15 to conduct the remaining 31 matches of the IPL 2021 season including the knockouts. Sources indicated that the one-month window will be enough for the BCCI to conclude the tournament.

IPL 2020 was conducted in UAE last year with all matches being played behind closed doors. The tournament had been conducted smoothly and there were no major hiccups.

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Sumit Seth