The suspense and speculation on the dates for the remaining 31 Indian Premier League matches is finally over. The Board of Control for Cricket in India was looking for a 25-day window in the UAE to complete the IPL Season 14. It has got 27 days as per the dates revealed by a BCCI official.
The league, according an ANI report, will resume on September 19. It was speculated to start between September 17 and 19. The final will be played on October 15, the official has told the news agency.
“The first game after the season resumes will be held on September 19 while we will have the final on October 15. The BCCI was always keen on a 25-day window to finish the remaining matches,” the official said.
The second Covid-19 wave in India had compelled the BCCI to abruptly suspend the IPL on May 4. Only 29 games of the 60-match tournament were completed when several players across different teams, team officials and ground staff at the Delhi and District Cricket Association were reported Covid-19 positive.
India was worst hit by the pandemic. The 4.14 lakh Covid-19 cases reported on May 6, two days after the IPL was suspended, remains a highest single day count anywhere in the world.
The BCCI has since been able to convince the Emirates Cricket Board to host the remainder of the league in Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Sharjah. The IPL final for a second successive season will be staged in the UAE.
The ICC T20 World Cup 2021, to be hosted by the BCCI, has also been moved out of India. A final confirmation from the BCCI or the International Cricket Council is yet to come.
The BCCI is now engaged in talks with international cricket boards on availability of the foreign players for the revised IPL schedule.
“The discussions have started and we are keeping fingers crossed that the foreign players will be mostly available. If a couple of them do not turn up, we shall then decide on the future course of action. But we are hoping to have an action-packed end to the 14th edition in UAE,” the official said.
Meanwhile, the franchisees will be waiting anxiously on the status of their overseas recruits. The concerns will not just about having a right team balance, finding an apple for an apple replacement is not going to be easy.