The long-awaited IPL 2021 was scheduled to be played between April 9 2021, and May 30 2021. However, IPL 2021 was postponed officially on May 4 after six players and two support staff members tested positive for Covid-19. The second wave has ravaged the 2nd most populous country globally, which has seen some countries ban all flights from India.
UPDATE: The Indian Premier League Governing Council (IPL GC) and Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) in an emergency meeting has unanimously decided to postpone IPL 2021 season with immediate effect.
— IndianPremierLeague (@IPL) May 4, 2021
Indian Premier League was postponed after just 29 matches out of the 60 matches. There are still 31 matches to be played, which means the league still has a long way to go. The entire tournament was played in UAE in 2020 as India was still facing a Covid-19 crisis.
Remaining matches of IPL 2021 to be played in the UAE
With the 2nd wave of the Covid-19 pandemic still ravaging India, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has finally announced that the remaining matches of IPL 2021 will be played in UAE. The members unanimously made the decision through a Special General Meeting (SGM) that was held virtually. The monsoon season in India in the months of September-October guided the decision by the board members.
NEWS 🚨 : BCCI to conduct remaining matches of VIVO IPL in UAE.
— IndianPremierLeague (@IPL) May 29, 2021
The remaining matches will be played in three venues; Dubai, Abu Dhabi & Sharjah. The United Arabs Emirates has already started allowing fans into various sporting events. Fans can now fill up to 30% of the fields’ capacity according to the guidelines provided by the Dubai Sports Council. We can only wait and see if fans will be allowed to capacity when the 2nd phase kicks off officially.
Availability of foreign players a big headache for BCCI
IPL draws players from different parts of the world. The Covid-19 disruption has caused loads of inconveniences, and the timing of the resumption of the league may crush with other leagues. Cricket West Indies is the major concern as a good number of players also play in the IPL.
The Board of Control for Cricket in India seeks to hold talks with Cricket West Indies and convince them to hold Caribbean Premier League (CPL 2021) earlier than planned. CPL will be held from August 28 to September 19, according to the current schedule. However, BCCI wants the CPL to be extended 7-10 days. Such an arrangement will make the Caribbean cricketers available for IPL 2021 Phase 2. England has already said that it will not avail its players. Other countries that are also doubtful include Bangladesh, Afghanistan and New Zealand.
SRH’s David Warner believes that suspending IPL was the right decision
David Warner, an Australian signed by Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH), says that it was ‘terrifying’ to see visuals of mass cremation in India. David Warner and other Australians signed to various IPL teams flew to the Maldives after the league was cancelled early in May.
Entry for travellers from India was banned in Australia, and the cricketers were forced to undergo a 14-day quarantine session before they could reunite with their families.
Talking on the Nova’s Fitzy and Wippa program, Warner said: “it could hit home for anyone who saw the piece on TV on what was happening in the country with oxygen”. Seeing people on the streets lining up to cremate their family members was terrifying. So I think the right decision was made from a humanitarian point of view”.
Warner was replaced as SRH captain by Kane Williamson from New Zealand just before the IPL 2021 was halted. However, the Australian is happy that the IPL is finally coming back and asked his fans to caption a photo from the IPL he shared on his Instagram account.
— David Warner (@davidwarner31) June 2, 2021
It is still early to predict who will win the IPL 2021. The resumption of the league will be a major point of focus for the best online sportsbooks as cricket has a fan base of over 2.5 billion people. Delhi Capitals were the leaders with 12 points after playing eight matches. However, all the other teams in the top five race had only played seven matches before the league was halted. We can only wait and see if the absence of some key players and the change of venue will affect various teams’ performances.