IPL 2021 Phase 2 – Chennai Super Kings: The UAE government’s decision to extend the flight ban is not going down well with MS Dhoni’s team Chennai Super Kings (CSK) and the other franchises. Neither the franchises can travel to UAE till July 21 – nor they can get their logistics in place due to a lack of clarity on the dates. More importantly, franchises are little concerned about multiple events in UAE at the same time. Dubai EXPO 2020 is scheduled for October & now the T20 World Cup also has been shifted to UAE. Amid these developments, franchisees are concerned about the escalation in rates for each and everything. In a conversation with InsideSport.co, CSK’s CEO Kasi Viswanathan said the flight ban has created issues in planning logistics for the tournament with just over two months left for IPL 2021 Phase 2.
“Finding hotels won’t be a problem. But flight ban is definitely a problem, it delays our plans” CSK CEO Kasi Viswanathan told InsideSport on Tuesday.
IPL 2021 Phase 2: Chennai Super Kings (CSK) has already begun negotiating with hotels as it would be a difficult time in September-October due to the Dubai Expo 2020 which will begin on October 1. As the event expects to attract at least 25 million visitors, getting hotels would be difficult. Furthermore, the rates will be higher than usual as the ICC T20 World Cup will begin on October 17. Teams who will play in the World Cup final round would be arriving in the country early for preparations.
Viswanathan said CSK is waiting for the BCCI to officially confirm the dates of IPL 2021 Phase 2 so that they can begin booking hotels. “As far as the hotel is concerned, we are already in talks. So, that should not be a problem. Whenever BCCI confirms the dates, we will finalise the bookings,” Viswanathan told InsideSport.
IPL 2021 Phase 2: Problems franchises facing
- UAE’s flight ban till July 21 means franchise officials won’t be able to travel to the desert country and plan logistics.
- IPL 2021, Dubai Expo and ICC T20 World Cup during the same window make hotels’ availability difficult.
- Even if hotels are available, rates will be higher than usual and the franchises will have to shell out the extra charges, incurring additional costs.
- Even though ICC T20 World Cup will begin after the IPL 2021, teams will be in the UAE for preparatory camps, making it difficult to avail practice grounds.
- BCCI is yet to officially inform the franchises of the IPL 2021 dates, making it difficult for them to book hotels in advance.
- With BCCI still negotiating with other cricket boards, it is yet to update the franchises on foreign players availability. Hence, they have no other option but to wait.
IPL 2021 Phase 2: BCCI yet to convey IPL 2021 dates to franchises officially
While BCCI President Sourav Ganguly and Vice-President Rajeev Shukla both have informally said that the remaining 31 matches of the IPL 2021 will be played from September 19 to October 15, the board is yet to inform the franchises. Now that the ICC T20 World Cup has been officially shifted to the UAE, BCCI is likely to announce the fixture of 31 remaining matches of IPL 2021 soon.
But as of now, franchises are waiting for an update on the dates so that they can go ahead with booking hotels and practice venues. A Punjab Kings official told InsideSport that the franchise is keeping a tab on the flight ban and has already begun preparations for the logistics. As soon as it gets the green signal from the franchises, it will book hotels.
“We still don’t have any official intimation as yet from the BCCI. Unless we get an official note from BCCI, I cannot comment. Whatever we have heard, it is through media. We are in a state of preparedness. We don’t have a problem. Whichever dates BCCI declares, we will be fine by that. Everything is being checked, hotels are being finalised, grounds have been finalised for practice. All of that is done. We are prepared. As soon we get an official confirmation, we will make our move,” the official told InsideSport.
Furthermore, as around 100 staff including players, their families, support staff and officials will travel to the UAE, franchisees will have to understand the vaccination rule for them. At present, the UAE government does not allow unvaccinated travellers to enter the country. If similar rules are applied, BCCI and the franchises will need to fully vaccinate (two doses) all the members of the contingent before the date of travel.