IPL 2021 Phase 2: 3 Big developments for BCCI in Indian Premier League 14 this week

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IPL 2021 Phase 2: 3 Big Developments: It has been a mixed week for BCCI’s grand Indian Premier League plans. While New Zealand cricketers have reportedly made themselves available for IPL 2021 Phase 2 in the UAE, giving BCCI Sourav Ganguly-led a shot in the arm, it has been forced to move the ICC T20 World Cup to the UAE while a travel ban on India has derailed the IPL franchises’ plan to discuss logistics in the desert nation.

On Saturday, BCCI secretary Jay Shah told ANI that the board is considering moving out the mega ICC event to the UAE as the COVID-19 situation in India could escalate during the September-October window. BCCI had earlier shifted IPL Phase 2 to UAE due to the monsoon and the same COVID-19 threat.

Due to the COVID-19 situation in our country, we may shift the tournament to UAE. We are monitoring the situation closely, the health and safety of players are paramount. We will take a final call soon,” BCCI Secretary Jay Shah told ANI on Saturday.

Also Read: T20 World Cup: BCCI secretary officially concedes that ‘T20 world cup set to be moved out of India’

IPL 2021 Phase 2: 3 Big Developments of this week:

ICC T20 World Cup: During ICC’s annual general meeting, the world body gave BCCI time till June 28 to come to a decision on the World Cup. As it seems, the BCCI top-brass has made up it mind to move the mega event to the UAE.

As reported by InsideSport earlier, the ICC T20 World Cup will start on October 17, two days after the IPL 2021’s final, in Oman before moving to the UAE. The initial phase will be played in Oman while the main 12-teams final will be hosted by the UAE. However, it would be a big headache for BCCI as it plans to host the remaining 31 matches of IPL 2021 in UAE from September 19 to October 15. BCCI is yet to make an official announcement on both events. But this raises a few questions.

  • How is BCCI going to solve logistical problems if all national teams and IPL teams stay in the UAE?
  • Will the national boards allow their players to leave for IPL and risk injuries?
  • What about the pitches which could turn slow due to excessive cricket?

Also Read: IPL 2021 Phase 2: BCCI & Franchises UAE travel plans to take hit as suspension on flights extended until July 21

IPL 2021 Phase 2 – UAE flights ban: The other problem BCCI is facing is logistical planning. The IPL 2021 Phase 2 is set to begin on September 19 and with less than three months left, the logistical planning must begin now for smooth conduction of IPL. But there lies the problem.

The UAE government has imposed a travel ban on flights from India until July 21 and the IPL franchise officials will not be able to travel to the country and make arrangements.

In a Notice Issued to Airmen (NOTAM), the country’s General Civil Aviation Authority said flights from 13 countries including India will remain suspended until 23:59 hrs of July 21. This means franchises and BCCI officials who were planning to travel to UAE for the finalisation of logistics will have to postpone their plans.

“Unlike last year, bulk bookings won’t be as easy this year as you will have people travelling into the country and that makes the workaround bio-bubbles all the more critical,” a franchise official was quoted by ANI as saying.

Also Read: IPL 2021 Phase 2: Good news for franchises, New Zealand players to be available for remaining IPL matches in UAE

IPL 2021 Phase 2: Kiwi players available: However, the only good news for the BCCI and the franchises is that New Zealand players have made themselves available. It comes as a major victory for both the tournament and the BCCI after England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) said it would not allow players to leave for IPL 2021 due to the Bangladesh tour. Australian cricketers are also doubtful for the tournament.

With nine Kiwi players including Kane Williamson, Kyle Jamieson and Trent Boult being key players in their franchises, their availability is a shot in the arm for BCCI as it has been struggling to get confirmation on foreign players’ availability.

“We are much relieved now. BCCI are in talks with English and Australian boards to come to a consensus regarding this. Given April and May are earmarked for the IPL, they are right to raise their own objections, but we are now confirmed to witness New Zealand players in action,” one of the franchise officials told Cricket.com.