The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on Thursday confirmed India as the venue for England’s tour against the Indian team coming up in the summer of 2021. With the pandemic that is around, it was always a doubt as to where the series would be held. There were several options being considered.
Owing to the rapidly growing COVID-19 number in the country, a rumour that went afloat said that United Arab Emirates could be chosen as the venue for the India versus England matches, scheduled in early 2021. However, with the graphs seeing a significant dip and vaccinations around the curb, the authorities have decided to continue with the original plan that means England will be coming right to India and ditch UAE.
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The tour is scheduled to include four test matches, three One Day games, and five T20I matches. The red-ball leg of the tour starts in February, while the limited overs series will commence from March. Following the English tour, the board also seems eager to organize the IPL 2021 locally.
This news is much of a relief for cricket in India, as the country’s flagship tournament- the Indian Premier League was organized in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah. IPL took place while India was struggling to cope up with the pandemic and from a stage where cancelling for this year was the most feasible option, Sourav Ganguly’s team successfully conducted the cash rich tournament in the Arab land.
The IPL took place in a full-fledged manner, matches being played in three grounds. The UAE authorities also managed bio-secure bubbles and social distancing avoiding any COVID-19 caused delay. With the success of the tournament, UAE emerged as a viable option for the English series too but BCCI’s statement clears the picture.
Some recent reports from the Daily Mail (UK) have erased UAE from the picture as the BCCI makes clear plans to resume Cricket in the country. According to their sources, the BCCI is in talks with the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) to schedule the tour in India itself. Additionally, it will be played across multiple venues as opposed to a singular one.
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The news also echoes BCCI President Sourav Ganguly’s words, when the former Indian captain said, “England is touring India for four Test matches, three ODIs, and five T20Is,” Sourav had declared a few months back. “It is easier to have bilaterals than having eight-nine-ten teams at the same time. It can get a bit difficult now, so we’ll have to keep assessing the situation.”
Ganguly has been eager to resume cricket in the country as a pink-ball Test at the world’s largest cricket stadium, the Sardar Patel stadium at Motera, Gujarat. The detailed schedule of the tour will be announced only after the Indian team are done with their tour to Australia that is post mid-January. After losing the One Day International series 2-1 against Aaron Finch’s men, Virat Kohli and company managed to secure a victory in the T20 series. The teams are scheduled to play four test matches for the Border-Gavaskar trophy, starting from December 17.
What Next For IPL 2021 Ahead Of The Mega-Auction?
The IPL 2020 was a grand success, with regards to the tournament as a whole. It was conducted under extraordinary circumstances and the fans were overjoyed with the return of the tournament. Some great cricket was played in this competition and the supporters will be eagerly awaiting IPL 2020.
With that being said, the mega-auction with a couple of potential new teams coming in, will be held next month (in January). This is as per the reports that have come in already from the BCCI. With that being said, the players and the managements of the clubs will be keen to get the right balance in their squads.
The current India-Australia series will be a key factor in deciding which player goes for which price. Form is an important factor in the IPL and the franchises will want the best talents for themselves. Let’s wait and watch, which team ends up with which players, which will be confirmed soon.