IPL 2021 to Held in UAE in September
The remainder of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 will be held in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) announced on Saturday.
“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 decision was taken at a Special General Meeting (SGM) held virtually, where members unanimously agreed to resume IPL,” IPL wrote in a statement on its official website.
The statement further read,” The BCCI SGM further authorised the Office Bearers to seek an extension of time from the ICC to take an appropriate call on the hosting of ICC T20 World Cup 2021.”
However, the BCCI will explore all options to host it in India itself, according to Cricbuzz.
The 14th edition of the IPL began on April 9 in Chennai, where the defending champions Mumbai Indians (MI) took on Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) at the MA Chidambaram Stadium. Before the tournament was suspended earlier this month due to a surge in COVID-19 cases, a total of 29 matches were played.
The Indian cricket board decided to stop the tournament after Chennai Super Kings (CSK) bowling coach L Balaji along with Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) bowlers Sandeep Warrier and Varun Chakravarthy had returned positive results apart from Sunrisers Hyderabad’s wicketkeeper-batsman Wriddhiman Saha tested positive for COVID-19 along with Delhi Capitals‘ veteran spinner Amit Mishra. Two more Knight Riders players – India fast bowler Prasidh Krishna and New Zealand wicketkeeper-batter Tim Seifert – tested positive after the IPL was suspended.
Moreover, the decision to move the IPL to the UAE is not unexpecting as it was earlier reported that the Indian cricket board had an informal agreement with the Emirates Cricket Board in the UAE. The Middle East country had successfully hosted the tournament in 2020.
In an interview recently, SRH’s ‘keeper-batsman Saha admitted that it would have been better had IPL 2021 was held in the UAE.
“It’s the job of the stakeholders to assess it, but the only thing I would say is that there was not a single individual during our training in UAE (last year), not even ground staff. Here there would be people, kids peeping from nearby walls. I don’t want to comment much but we saw how the IPL went off smoothly in UAE in 2020 and then it started in India this year with cases on the rise,” said Saha.
On being asked about the bio-bubble, Saha added,”I don’t know what would have happened, but definitely I feel it would have been better off in UAE this time as well. It’s for the stakeholders to look into it.”
As many as 31 games, including four playoffs, are yet to be played in the IPL 2021.