Dhoni vs Rohit to kickstart IPL’s UAE leg from September 19

The second phase of the Indian Premier League (IPL 2021) is all set to start next month, BCCI announced. Thirty one matches are still remaining in this year’s edition which got suspended in midway because of coronavirus outbreak. Few players and staffs from Kolkata Knight Riders, Sunrisers Hyderabad, Chennai Super Kings were tested positive. KKR spinner Varun Chakraborthy was the first player to be affected by the virus followed by some other people from different franchises. Across 27 days, 31 matches are scheduled to be played in the United Arab Emirates. It will kick start on 17th of September with Dubai hosting the final on October 15.

IPL 2021 Start Date & Schedule – Why hasn’t the BCCI officially announced the dates as yet? 

There is Caribbean Premier League coming in next month. CPL 2021 is scheduled from 28th Aug to Sep 19th. There are many West Indian stars play in the IPL who play some good live cricket. They could miss the beginning of the second phase of the tournament due to that. The Board of control for cricket in India have requested to advance the start of the CPL 2021 by a week or 10 days so all the Caribbean cricket stars stay available for IPL.

“We will speak to all the boards about the availability of their players. We will also speak to Cricket West Indies, we always had a great relationship with everyone and we are confident some solution will come out in the next few days”, said one of the top BCCI officials after attending the BCCI SGM today afternoon.

IPL 2021 Foreign Players Availability Big Headache for BCCI:

With ICC T20 world cup coming up just after the IPL ends, many foreign cricketers are expected to skip to play in IPL. English cricket board have already said no. Australia, New Zealand and Bangladesh players are also expected not to play in it because of their bi lateral series.

–  Australia will tour Bangladesh,

– New Zealand are set for Bangladesh and Pakistan (or the UAE),

– England have agreed to visit Bangladesh and Pakistan (or the UAE)

– Pakistan and Afghanistan have scheduled a bilateral series around or during the time of the IPL.

– West Indies players will play CPL.

It will be a test and also an opportunity for Indian players to showcase their talent in this second phase as many teams will require them to perform as they will miss their star foreign players. Chennai Super Kings, Mumbai Indians, Royal Challengers Bangalore, Delhi Capitals are the teams that have first team Indian players in their ranks and they are having a good season already.

Sides like Sunrisers Hyderabad, Rajasthan Royals and Kolkata Knight Riders will find it tough as their Indian players core is not much strong. Punjab Kings have some Indian cricket stars but as always they are again struggling. For sure it will be very interesting to see how things goes in the reminder of the season and will be a good warm up for the cricketers in the UAE conditions before the T20 world cup starts.

The challenges that the BCCI faces with regards to the second phase of the IPL 2021 tournament

The Covid-19 pandemic is not over yet. The world is still a long way away from the end of this disease. This has been a concern in the series in Sri Lanka recently too. It is a problem that saw the tournament shifted away from the Indian subcontinent to the UAE in the first place.

With that being said, the same challenges could now show up in the tournament. The players and staff safety will be a huge concern. On the other hand, another topic of discussion will be whether to let the fans in or not? That has been a global concern and though the conditions are right now looking fine, it could change in no time.

That will be something that would have concerned both the ICC and the BCCI. This could impact the revenue and the two bodies of cricket would be concerned. It will be interesting to see how things develop in the upcoming days. The BCCI officials have already both venues and were in the middle-east. Let’s wait and watch what kind of a show they put up in the second phase of the IPL 2021 tournament.