IPL 2021 confirmed to resume in UAE

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The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has confirmed that the remaining matches of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021, which was suspended earlier this month, will be completed in UAE in September and October. The UAE has previously hosted the cash-rich T20 tournament in 2014 and the entire 2020 edition during the first outbreak of COVID-19 in India.

“The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on Saturday announced to complete the remaining matches of VIVO Indian Premier League 2021 season in the United Arab Emirates (U.A.E) considering the monsoon season in India in the months of September-October this year,” the BCCI said. It is learnt that the tournament will be held over a 25-day window which will have a total of 8 doubleheaders.

The organizers will be aim to squeeze the matches into a window between the India Test tour of England, which finishes in mid-September, and the T20 World Cup, which is scheduled to start in mid-October. According to reports, up to 30 percent fans could be allowed in the three stadiums – Sharjah, Dubai and Abu Dhabi – for the IPL Season 14 Phase-2.

At the time the IPL was suspended, there were still 31 matches, including the four playoffs, left to be played. The Indian Board is set to implement the same protocols that were drafted for the 2020 edition, while franchises are being asked to come up with plans on how to make their players available. In cases where players are not available, the board will hear “requests” from franchises to allot replacements.

Meanwhile, the BCCI has given until June 28 to finalize the venue for this year’s T20 World Cup. During the meeting earlier this month, the ICC has been clear that the window for the T20 World Cup, which is likely to be held between October 16-20 and November 14, cannot be changed. The Emirates Cricket Board, however, has been given a heads up about the possibility of hosting the T20 World Cup too.

It means, UAE will have a hectic schedule as hosts as they are in line to host the remaining 20 matches of Pakistan Super League (PSL) in Abu Dhabi, followed by the IPL in the UAE while the International Cricket Council (ICC) has asked the UAE to be ready alongside a Gulf country as a contingency plan to host the T20 World Cup in October-November.

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