Tests, IPL 2021, and T20 World Cup: Indian cricketers gear up for break-free schedule
The COVID-19 pandemic has vastly affected the IPL 2021. As a result, several games were cut short because most team members tested positive. While some went to support their families, the board decided to suspend its activities to protect the health of everyone involved. With a decrease in the positivity rate, the game; England vs. India is set to happen accompanied by a series of matches, resulting in a tight schedule.
However, Indian cricketers have geared for a break. The Indian Cricket team is now ready to resume a match with the ICC World Test Championship Final against New Zealand. After the game, the players will have a break of twenty days while still in England. Afterward, there will be a series of non-stopping matches. The sequence of the games include:
Ahead of the match against England, India played with New Zealand in the 2021 ICC World Championship Final. The game was held on June 18, 2021, at the Rose Bowl in Southampton. Despite carrying a large team, they replaced them with intra-squad matches in Durham.
After the resumption of the Test Series, India is set to play five matches with England. This series will be the first match of the 2021-2023 World Test Championship in August.
IPL 2021 is among the best cricketing matches of the year. The board halted the previous season due to the rise in positivity rate among Indian team members and staff. Out of 60 games, the teams had played 29 games while 31 remained pending. The good news is that the second phase is set to resume. According to the Board of Cricket in India, phase 2 of IPL 2021 will be held on September 19 in the United Arabs Emirates. As per the new schedule, the games will start from September 19 to November 15.
According to the BCCI source, via The Tribune: “September 15 to October 15 is the window. Initially, BCCI was thinking of having ten doubleheaders. But, in the third and fourth week of September, having ten afternoon matches can be physically exhausting for a player in such a short window.”
He further added, “So if October 15, which is a Friday, is zeroed in on, it’s basically the start of the weekend in India, and in Dubai, it’s a holiday that will allow fans to come in and enjoy a high-profile game of cricket. So it serves a dual purpose. Also, the number of doubleheaders could be reduced to five or six instead of 10. “
Before the board made changes, the Indian team schedule was somehow relaxed, but now it has been replaced by phase two of IPL 2021, which occurs to be busy.
Another match that will create the busiest schedule ever for Indian cricketers is the T20 World Cup 2021. It will start on October 17 and end on November 14 in UAE, Oman. Initially, the match was held in Australia, and the teams that qualified are the ones to play in the upcoming 2021 tournament. The T20 World Cup will have 45 matches to be played, and only 16 teams will participate.
Among the venues are: The Dubai International Stadium, the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi, the Sharjah Stadium, and the Oman Cricket Academy Ground. Despite all this, an official date has not been announced. However, if it kicks off on October 18, players will have only two days to rest and recover before the awaited match.
The England Tests, IPL 2021, and T20 World Cup were suspended due to the coronavirus outbreak. Moreover, several team members tested positive, while others supported their families during the sorrowful moment. As a result, the board had to suspend the games for everyone’s safety.
After a decrease in the positivity rate, games have been re-scheduled except for the T20 World Cup, which is yet to announce the official date. This is a great relief to cricket fans. However, it might be overwhelming for Indian cricketers, and that is why they have requested a break to unwind. The break will create space for their program as they wait to kickstart the matches.