After postponing IPL 2021 halfway due to the rising COVID19 cases in the country, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) are currently mulling over decisions to host the remaining tournament sometime later this year. The board, the league’s governing council (GC), franchises, broadcaster, and other stakeholders are unanimous in agreement to this effect.
But the question remains where and where to host the tournament. The second phase of IPL 2021 will certainly not take place in India. The decision is unanimous regardless of an available window, a more robust bio-bubble, and the COVID19 tide going down.
UAE, UK, and Australia in running to host remaining matches of IPL 2021
BCCI cannot host the tournament in India because the overseas cricketers, who rushed back to their homes in the wake of the ongoing crisis in the country will not want to come back to India in a hurry. And the Sourav Ganguly-led body will not want to host the tournament without the overseas cricketers.
“It has to be played overseas. Certain suggestions have already been heard. The BCCI just has to make up its mind,” top sources in the board said to TOI.
As the BCCI officials and the stakeholders continue to mull over the possible options, three options have come up during the initial rounds of discussions.
Option A –
Move IPL 2021 to the UAE where they hosted the last edition of the tournament. BCCI can also host the T20 World Cup in the UAE – a tried and tested venue. After India’s tour of England gets over on September 14. the cricketers can land in the UAE and undergo a seven-day quarantine before the tournament starts. The World Cup will take place after the cash-rich league gets over from October 22.
Option B –
BCCI can also consider hosting the remaining matches of IPL 2021 in the UK while shifting the T20 World Cup to the UAE. Sourav Ganguly can use the end of the English summer – end of September and early October to conclude the tournament.
Incidentally, the Indian team will travel to England next month for the World Test Championship and remain based there until the completion of the five-match Test series.
Option C –
If BCCI decides, and the government of Australia revises its policies after four months from now – moving the T20 World Cup scheduled to take place in India in October-November in Australia. In return, India can take over the hosting right from the T20 World Cup 2022 which is currently with Cricket Australia.
Since the overseas cricketers will anyway travel to Australia for the global event, hosting phase 2 of IPL 2021 will also be a viable option.