Finally, there is closure. CPL 2021 will run from August 25th to September 15th. Additionally, the second phase of the Indian Premier League will take place from September 19th to October 15th. Following the Wednesday 8th July announcement by the Board of Cricket Control in India (BCCI), you can now look forward to the participation of top foreign players in the second phase of the IPL. Before the announcement, the CPL 2021 schedule had matches running from August 28th and concluding on September 19th.
Early in the year, there was a lot of uncertainty on the fate of Phase2 of the Indian Premier Leagues. The increasing COVID-19 positivity rates and endless spells of bad weather resulted in the postponement of the tournament.
Following a series of meetings between participating teams and the BCCI, phase 2 is set to commence on September 19th, with the UAE playing host. However, the date was in conflict with the conclusion of the previously announced CPL 2021 schedule, which was set to run from August 28th to September 19th. As a result, India’s cricket governing body had to request the CWI to host matches about ten days earlier.
The request’s approval is now official as of Wednesday, July 8th, following confirmation by Ricky Skerritt, president of CWI, to several news organizations. It seems the conversations between Jay Shah, BCCI’s secretary, and CWI officials were enough to swing it in IPL’s favor. As a result, the new dates for the CPL matches are from August 25th to September 15th.
The rescheduling of CPL matches means that BCCI can look forward to a successful conclusion of the tournament. Furthermore, it clears some of the uncertainties that include:
Compliance with COVID-19 protocols.
By ending the CPL matches earlier, BCCI anticipates a successful bubble-to-bubble transfer of CPL-bound players. The new CPL 2021 schedule gives its IPL-bound players enough time to travel and complete the mandatory three-day quarantine in Dubai. Additionally, CWI promises to facilitate the transfer of its national team players.
However, it is unclear whether the UAE will relax quarantine rules for vaccinated players and backroom staff. For example, St. Kitts remains one of the few countries to have very few COVID-19 cases.
IPL teams can now breathe a sigh of relief since they will have most of their critical personnel available. For example, the Kolkata Knight Riders will now have their coach Brendon McCullum, who also has similar commitments to the Trinbago Knight Riders of the CPL. Furthermore, IPL fans can also look forward to seeing players such as Dwayne Bravo and Kieron Pollard displaying their talents.
A few loose ends
Despite the announcement, a couple of pending issues need sorting out before IPL 2021 can commence. Among them are the following:
There still many star players set to miss the tournament
BCCI is yet to confirm the attendance of other foreign players who do not ply their trade in the CPL. For example, the England Cricket Board still maintains that their national players’ commitments to the national team take precedence over participation in the IPL. Consequently, Ben Stokes, Jos Butler, and others playing in the Bangladesh and Pakistan bilateral series will be unavailable.
Furthermore, there is still no confirmation from New Zealand, Afghanistan, and Australia, on the availability of their national team players. Additionally, reports from Australia indicate that plans are underway for the Tri-Series to take place during the IPL tournament.
BCCI will still have to rely on Jay Shah’s charm to woo the cricket boards of South Africa and The Netherlands to ensure full participation in their cash-rich league.
West Indies vs. Pakistan.
Although there is confirmation that the CPL will start on August 25th, the chances are that a revision may still be in the works. The West Indies are to face Pakistan for their second test from the 20th to August 25th. Consequently, some of CWI’s national team players may be too tired to make the transition.
Stay tuned for more on the IPL and your favorite sport.