In a major development, BCCI has chalked out three potential plans for the resumption of IPL 2021. BCCI is hopeful that it will be able to host the remaining matches of the cash-rich league later this year. The IPL board, the league’s governing council (GC), franchises, broadcaster and different stakeholders are unanimous in settlement to this impact.
As per the reports, the remaining half of the IPL 2021 will definitely not be held in India even if there is an available window, enhanced bio-secure bubbles or improvement in the Covid-19 scenario. The main reason for this is the reluctance of foreign players to play in India, who wanted to rush back home given the current Covid crisis in India.
“It needs to be performed abroad. Sure solutions have already been heard. The BCCI simply has to make up its thoughts,” top sources within the board mentioned.
BCCI chalks out 3 plans for resumption of IPL 2021
Notably, BCCI has come up with three solutions over planning Part-2 of IPL 2021. It includes shifting it to either UK, Australia or UAE. The board will face a lot of challenges and logistical issues to restart the league.
A) Move the league to UAE
United Arab Emirates is a tried and tested venue that worked efficiently in 2020. After India’s tour of England gets over on September 14, players taking part in the IPL can head to the UAE and play the remaining 31 matches before the World Cup begins on October 22.
“If the World Cup is shifted, the entire scheduling will get re-worked anyway. Climate shall be an issue as September remains a very hot month. While UAE only begins to cool down October onwards,” mentioned those in the know of things.
B) Moving it to the United Kingdom is another option
Shifting the tournament to United Kingdom is being seen as a more viable option than shifting the T20 World Cup to the UAE. It will help the BCCI make full use of the end of the English summer – end of September and early October – to conclude IPL. The Indian team will travel to England next month for the highly-awaited World Test Championship final. Also, the Indian players will remain based out of England until the completion of India’s five-Test series against England.
With London Mayor Sadiq Khan already expressing his interest to bring IPL to the British capital, this could present a good alternative for all the parties involved. Khan recently said that he hoped future IPL matches could be played at London grounds such as Lord's and Oval. London has already successfully staged many NFL, MLB and NBA events in the past.
“The weather will be good for cricket. It will suit the broadcaster too because time zones can be adjusted and overseas players from outside of India and England will be willing to travel,” sources said.
C) Moving the T20 World Cup and IPL to Australia
Another option would be to shift the T20 World Cup, scheduled in India this October-November and IPL 2021 to Australia. BCCI could make a swap deal with Australia and host the 2022 World Cup instead. However for this to go ahead, government of Australia will have to revises its policies.
“Cricket Australia certainly won’t mind this exchange if their government allows. And since international players will anyway arrive there for the World Cup, Perth – which is three-and-half-hours ahead of Indian Standard Time – can host Phase-2 to cater to Indian prime-time,” sources stated.
“This can happen only if the Australian government changes its mind and if broadcasters are willing to agree. A new destination will infuse freshness into the league and that itself will attract viewership. England and Australia are good options,” industry sources were quoted as saying.
All the above-mentioned 3 options have been shortlisted by the BCCI. Each option has its own pros and cons. It is expected that BCCI will take its time to work on the same and is in no hurry to make a decision.