BCCI’s obstacles to delivering the remainder of IPL 2021 to UAE
Several challenges face the BCCI as it plans to lead the rest of the IPL into the September-October window in the UAE. ESPNcricinfo takes a look at the key issues that BCCI will need to resolve for the tournament to run smoothly.
Men’s T20 World Cup
The 16-team world tournament is scheduled to take place in India between mid-October and November 14. However, with India being one of the countries most affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, the tournament is likely to move to the United Arab Emirates. If that happened, the movement of players between the IPL bubble and the World Cup bubble would be one of BCCI’s biggest advantages.
However, in the event that the UAE is the venue for both tournaments, the biggest challenge for the ICC would be the fitness of the venues – Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah. The ICC would ideally seek to have a breathing space between the IPL and the World Cup to ensure the preparation of the field and the improvement of the venues for the marquee tournament.
While there is no doubt about the quality of the training venues, the ICC would be more mindful of slowing pitches (at the big three venues) due to the amount of cricket played on them. The three venues will end up hosting a total of 76 matches in case the IPL and World Cup take place in the UAE.
Of these, IPL would represent 31 games while 45 would be part of the World Cup quota, including qualifying at the start. Comparing that to the 2020 IPL, where all 60 matches were played in the UAE. That would mean a total of 16 more games. It is learned that the ICC may consider including Oman as a potential venue for the first round of matches subject to authorization from the UAE government for teams to cross borders without quarantine.
The other concern for the ICC would be the support period, where the teams arrive and train. Usually this period begins one week before the start of an ICC event. However, during the pandemic, the ICC will also have to take into account the quarantine standards set by the UAE government for various overseas countries, which could mean teams are expected to land by the end of the month. September.
Another problem to be solved would be the questions regarding the FTP. As it stands, India is expected to host South Africa for three T20Is and as many ODIs. India is also designated to host New Zealand ahead of the T20 World Cup.
Conflict with CPL
On May 20, the CPL announced that the upcoming season will be held in Saint Kitts and Nevis between August 28 and September 19. Since West Indies players are in high demand at IPL, this could have a direct impact. These players include Kieron Pollard (Mumbai Indians), Andre Russell, Sunil Narine (both Kolkata Knight Riders), Chris Gayle, Nicholas Pooran (both of the Punjab Kings), Dwayne Bravo (Chennai Super Kings), Shimron Hetmeyer (Delhi Capitals) ). Among the big foreign players of the CPL are Faf du Plessis, Imran Tahir (Super Kings), Chris Morris (Barbados Tridents).
The big question for CPL is how it can change its schedule so that the tournament ends in time for the IPL group to fly directly to the UAE on a charter plane and avoid missing matches. To do that, CPL would need Cricket West Indies to possibly change the series’ route home against Pakistan.
Pakistan’s tour of the Caribbean, comprising five T20s and two tests, is set to begin on July 28, four days after the end of the West Indies home series against Australia. After the end of the five T20s on August 3 in Guyana, the West Indies and Pakistan contest two tests in Jamaica from August 12 to 16 and from August 20 to 24.
Player availability in England
Almost all of the England white ball team’s first team are also part of the IPL teams’ first XIs. This includes: English Captain Eoin Morgan (Knight Riders), Jos Buttler, Ben Stokes, Jofra Archer (all Rajasthan Royals), Johnny Bairstow and Jason Roy (Sunrisers Hyderabad), Sam Curran, Moeen Ali (both Super Kings), Chris Woakes, Tom Curran (both capitals). However, most of these players are at risk of missing out on the rest of the IPL, with ECB director of cricket Ashley Giles recently indicating that the priority for England players would be the bilateral series which should be played immediately after the India Test series and before the T20 World Cup.
England are expected to play a series of white balls in Bangladesh, followed by two ODIs in Pakistan, both of which are scheduled for late September to mid-October. Besides England, New Zealand is also set to play a September-October white ball streak in Pakistan, while Afghanistan will host Pakistan in the United Arab Emirates in September for a white ball streak.
Bubble to bubble transfer
In 2020, players moved between the CPL tournament bubbles and the England-Australia white ball streak. The two groups of players flew on a charter flight directly to the United Arab Emirates: those who traveled to Abu Dhabi, where their IPL teams were staying, had to spend a week in quarantine while those joining their teams in Dubai were allowed to start training immediately after clearing them. the test.
With the pandemic moving rapidly across the world, the rules existing at the time would determine the quarantine standards set by the UAE government for members of IPL teams who would travel from several different countries, including India. The challenge for BCCI would then be to assemble teams in time to undergo the required quarantine before being eligible to play.
Nagraj Gollapudi is editor-in-chief at ESPNcricinfo