BCCI is prepping to conduct the remainder of IPL 2021 in September-October in the UAE. The announcement could be made official after their Special General Meeting (SGM) on May 29 The final might be held on October 9 or 10.
The 14th edition of IPL, which had to be postponed owing to COVID-19, is expected to restart around September 16-20 and finish on October 9-10. The three-week window will be enough for the league to complete its remaining 31 games for the season, a win-win scenario for all the primary stakeholders including the BCCI, franchises and broadcasters. The IPL 2021 was postponed on May 4 after multiple COVID-19 cases inside its bio-bubble came to light.
“The BCCI has spoken to all the stakeholders and the likely start could be between September 18th to 20th. Since September 18 is a Saturday and 19 a Sunday, it is more likely that you would want to re-start it on a weekend date,” the official told PTI on conditions of anonymity.
“Similarly, October 9th or 10th will be the final as it’s a weekend. We are finalising the itinerary and there will be 10 double headers and seven evening matches along with four main games (two qualifiers, one eliminator and the final), which completes the list of 31 matches,” the official added.
The Indian team’s last Test match against England is set to finish on September 14 at Manchester and on the next day, the whole team (save Hanuma Vihari and Abhimanyu Easwaran) will be flown to UAE in a chartered flight for a “bubble to bubble” transfer.
“The Indian team and the English players who will be available will fly in the same charter flight from Manchester to Dubai. Similarly, the West Indies players will also fly in after completing the Caribbean Premier League engagements. There will be three-day quarantine for players arriving from the UK and the Caribbean,” the source said.
A franchise official confirmed that communication from BCCI has come on the matter.
“We have been told by the BCCI to be ready for the tournament. We have been given a September 15 to 20 window,” a team official said.
T20 World Cup begins October 18 that will make the scheduling difficult is the requirement by the ICC to take over the grounds 10 days before the start of the tournament, in order to prepare for branding and other activities. In that case, matches in a transitive manner at the three available venues Dubai, Sharjah and Abu Dhabi. It will ensure that the league is concentrated at one venue for the final few days and the other two venues can be handed over to the ICC.