IPL 2021 Phase 2: CPL sorted, BCCI now in talks to sort 4 other roadblocks for IPL 2021 in UAE

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IPL 2021 Phase 2 – Roadblocks for IPL 2021: With Cricket West Indies (CWI) confirming that it has advanced the dates of Caribbean Premier League (CPL 2021) by four days, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has managed to successfully remove 1st roadblock for IPL 2021 Phase 2. But BCCI will have to further weave their magic to sort four other major issues for the IPL 2021 Phase 2 in UAE. Convincing Cricket Australia, England and Wales Cricket Board besides the smaller nations will be key to the successful conduct of 31 remaining matches of the tournament.

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IPL 2021 Phase 2 – Roadblocks for IPL 2021: Last week, Cricket West Indies decided to tweak CPL 2021 schedule to avoid a clash with IPL 2021 Phase 2 after BCCI put in a request. Instead of August 28 to September 19, the matches will now be played between August 26 and September 15.

The four days will give West Indian stars like Chris Gayle, Andre Russell and South African cricketers — Chris Morris, Faf du Plessis and Anrich Nortje — enough time to move to the UAE and join their respective IPL franchises.

“Both IPL and CPL are important to CWI, to our cricketers and to fans. CWI’s role was to facilitate arrangements for a non-overlapping and smooth transition from one tournament to the next. Cricket administrators must collaborate if cricket is to survive the risks and costs of COVID-19,” Ricky Skerritt, the CWI President, told ESPNcricinfo.

IPL 2021 Phase 2: As for the IPL 2021 Phase 2, BCCI Vice-President Rajiv Shukla announced that it will start on September 19 with the final on October 15. Now that BCCI has ironed out a window for the IPL 2021, foreign players’ availability remains its top priority. Other than that, they have five problems that they need to sort out quickly.

Convincing England & Wales Cricket Board (ECB): The ECB was the first cricket board to shut the door on BCCI’s face when Managing Director Ashley Giles announced that England players won’t be available for IPL 2021 in UAE as they will be touring Pakistan and Bangladesh during that window. However, the BCCI is not leaving any stones unturned. They are still in talks with the ECB to convince them and allow some players to leave for IPL.

Cricket Australia: Unlike ECB, Cricket Australia hasn’t been so forthcoming about players’ availability. However, Trevor Hans, Australia’s chairman of selectors said that he expects players to forego T20 leagues of it clashes with national team matches. While it seemed that Australia will not play any matches after West Indies and Bangladesh tours, Hans revealed that they are planning a Tri-Series with West Indies and Afghanistan during the IPL. If it goes ahead, some players like Glenn Maxwell, Steve Smith and Kane Richardson might not come back. Pat Cummins has already ruled himself out of IPL 2021 Phase 2.

IPL 2021 Phase 2: New Zealand Cricket: Unlike the two, New Zealand Cricket has rather stayed mum on players’ availability in IPL. New Zealand will play Pakistan during the IPL window and that means top players including Trent Boult, Kane Williamson and Kyle Jamieson will miss out on at least some part of IPL.

BCCI trying to convince smaller cricket boards: As the big three have had a lukewarm response to IPL rescheduling, BCCI is trying to convince the smaller ones like the CWI, Afghanistan Cricket Board, Bangladesh Cricket Board and Cricket South Africa. Among them, only South African cricketers seem to be free with no matches during the window. After the return from Ireland tour, they will host the Netherlands in 3-match ODI series and will be free after that as the India tour has been put on hold once again.

IPL 2021 Phase 2:  Afghanistan on the other hand play Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Ireland during the window. That means, it is most likely to rule out Rashid Khan, Mujeeb Ur Rahman and Mohammad Nabi.

Bangladesh Cricket Board has already ruled out Shakib Al Hasan and Mustafizur Rahman due to bilateral commitments with Australia and England tours.

Logistics issues: Furthermore, there are logistical hurdles for BCCI to solve. With India currently under a travel ban and the UAE government not permitting any unvaccinated travellers to enter the country, BCCI will have to get everyone vaccinated first including broadcast crew, support staff and franchise officials. Then, it will have to create a bio-bubble in UAE for the smooth conduct of the tournament.

The other problem is flying in foreign cricketers. As India’s England tour ends on September 14, they will be flown in a chartered flight from England. BCCI is mulling similar plans for West Indian and South African cricketers who will be playing CPL 2021. Hence, it is going to be a logistical nightmare for BCCI.

IPL 2021 Phase 2: CPL sorted, BCCI now in talks to sort 4 other roadblocks for IPL 2021 in UAE