IPL 2021: BCCI mulling to complete league during September-November

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Courtesy: IPLT20

The Board of Control for Cricket in India has not given up on the remainder of the Indian Premier League 2021 season. The remaining 31 games can be completed during an “appropriate” window between September and November – either side of the ICC T20 World Cup 2021.

The board is wasting no time in finding a window to complete the IPL just before or after the ICC T20 World Cup 2021, also to be hosted by the BCCI, a source privy to developments has confirmed to The Sporting Hub.

Host broadcaster Star Sports has agreed to the BCCI proposal. Star had also issued an official Press release to endorse the decision to suspend the IPL after Covid-19 positive cases were reported across teams, among players, support staff and team management earlier this week.

As BCCI explores the options to reschedule the suspended league, it is certain that neither the board, nor franchisees or the broadcaster is ready for having the league in India unless the devil of Covid-19 is eliminated.

UAE NOT LONE OPTION

The UAE is not the only alternate option to complete the IPL, revealed the source.

The BCCI is exploring possibilities of staging the remaining 31 matches either in the UK or Australia. “A nod from one of these ‘top three’ nations would also solve the issue of getting their players, who are representing different IPL teams. Australia and England will not have issues about sending their players to the other nation,” said the source.

The BCCI will have to convince international boards to tweak their schedules for creating the desired window for the IPL. “It will require a lot of convincing. The efforts have begun,” said the source.

The best possible scenario can be September in the UK when the England and Wales Cricket Board is also scheduled to host Virat Kohli & Co for five Test matches. ECB, according to the source, is keen to work out a plan to accommodate the IPL games just before the T20 World Cup.

No major team will be playing international cricket during September. However, it will not be easy to convince international boards to release the T20 World Cup-bound players for the IPL. Most of the teams will plan the World Cup preparatory camps around that time.

If England doesn’t happen during September, UAE in November is the next most viable option. It is highly likely that the BCCI will be hosting the T20 World Cup in the Emirates. The players participating in the World Cup will smoothly transit from one bio-bubble to the other for the IPL.

The second option will need a nod from the Bangladesh and New Zealand cricket boards. Both the nations have their international series lined up immediately after the World Cup.

For now, The Oval, Old Trafford and Edgbaston hosting the 31 remaining fixtures is emerging the strongest possibility as the BCCI is not known for giving up easily on its IPL ambitions.

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