The remaining 31 matches of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 will take place in the UAE, the BCCI announced following the Special General Meeting (SGM), where the members unanimously agreed to resume the tournament.
"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 BCCI said in its media release.
IPL 2021 was called off on May 4 after multiple bio-secure bubble breaches. The dates for the rest of the matches are yet to be announced.
Most of the players will be familiar with the conditions in the UAE, having played all the matches there in 2020 and 20 matches back in 2014. With the weather no longer being an issue, we are assured to have no interruptions throughout.
Another thing that works in UAE's favour is the short distance between the three venues - Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Sharjah - which eliminates air travel, a potential carrier of the Covid virus. There is no clarity on whether crowds will be allowed in the UAE. A lot will depend on how smoothly the Pakistan Super Leagues (PSL) 2021 goes.
The BCCI has also sought time from the ICC to take a call on India hosting T20 World Cup 2021, which is scheduled to take place in October-November in India. The ICC meeting is scheduled to take place on June 1 but may have to defer its decision to move the tournament out of the country.
There could be a conflict when it comes to handing over the grounds ahead of the T20 World Cup. ICC’s guidelines state a handover of the grounds two weeks prior to the start of the event. The IPL 2021 final will tentatively be played on October 13 and the T20 World Cup is scheduled to begin just three days later. The BCCI needs to resolve this issue if UAE is indeed going to host the T20 World Cup as well.
One of the associations also raised the issue of domestic players not being paid. However, it was turned down by Sourav Ganguly and Rajeev Shukla, who stated that it was not part of the agenda.