The Indian Premier League (IPL) kicked off on April 9, 2021, but had to stop in May because of the inevitable resurgence of COVID 19 after only playing a few games. However, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has now concluded that players will soon resume the 14th edition of the IPL in the United Arab Emirates.
According to BCCI, the IPL 2021 will play the remaining 31matches starting September 19 till October 15, 2021. However, the board is yet to confirm and inform the participating franchises.
The ICC T20 World Cup
While this is good news to the IPL franchise teams, a complication arises from the World Cricket Body, ICC. It follows the announcement that the ICC has shifted the ICC T20 World Cup tournament to the UAE. This is the same venue that BCCI plans to hold the remaining 31 IPL matches.
The ICC T20 World Cup is to be hosted in three major cities across the UAE. These are Abu Dhabi, Dubai, and Sharjah.
Even though the ICC T20 World Cup is slated to begin two days after the conclusion of the IPL, ICC is still apprehensive about the damage the IPL matches can cause to the wickets before the anticipated tournament.
- The T20 World Cup is expected to attract more than 25 million visitors to the UAE. For the IPL franchise teams, there is an imposing challenge to secure hotels and accommodation. It also means that the hotel rates can be higher than usual, considering that the T20 World Cup commences two days after the IPL concludes. (Teams will want to secure venues in advance to make preparations)
- Currently, the UAE government has extended the flight ban, which falters the preparation of the IPL franchise teams. The flight ban extends until July 21, 2021, and in its effect, teams will compromise on travel and logistics plans before the IPL commences.
Player Complications and Other International Fixtures
As other cricket boards continue to schedule international fixtures, there is a growing concern about the closeness of the two events and the availability of elite overseas players in the IPL.
Already, the ECB has ruled out the participation of English players for the second leg of the IPL. Also, the Australian cricket board seems to be entertaining the same thought as well. Without the inclusion of elite overseas players, there is no way to determine how this will affect the current results/standings of the IPL table.
Which Teams Top the First Phase of the IPL?
The 14th edition of the IPL started on April 9with a clash between the exciting Royal Challengers Bangalore and the defending champions Mumbai Indians.
Before the break, Delhi Capital tops the standings, having cumulated 12 points from eight games. They are closely followed by second-placed Chennai Super Kings and Royal Challengers, who share ten points from only seven games.
Sunrisers Hyderabad can change their fortunes as they are the currently bottom-placed team with only two points from seven games. On the other hand, Kolkata Knight raiders will also need to pick more points as they are seventh with only four points from seven matches.