The finals of the 14th edition of Indian Premier League (IPL) are likely to be advanced by a week. While the initial plan was to have the finals scheduled on June 6, IPL officials are now mulling to have it on May 30. This news comes after team India are likely to proceed to the ICC World Test Championship finals, scheduled to be played at the Lord's on June 18.
After the conclusion of the tournament, Indian players might have to quickly head to England and undergo mandatory quarantine, if they qualify. To buy themselves some time to acclimatize themselves to the English conditions, the advancement of the T20 competition is being planned.
"Currently lots of ifs and buts are around IPL Dates and Schedules. We have to take many things into consideration before zeroing down on the final dates for IPL 2021 and WTC finals is one of them," a top BCCI official was quoted by Inside Sport.
ECB wants players to end IPL commitments by May
Meanwhile, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) also prefers the IPL 2021 to end by May. This is because they have a two-match Test series scheduled against New Zealand later. The first Test of this series is slated to begin on June 2 and the board wants all its key players including Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler and Jofra Archer available for selection.
Under the UK's elite sportsperson's exemption criterion, British cricketers can resume training and playing immediately if they have been part of a bubble environment like the IPL. However, they should be tested negative for COVID-19 prior to the commencement of the tournament.
Although the official schedule of IPL 2021 is yet to be announced, it is expected to commence in the first or second week of April. Earlier, initial reports had suggested that the tournament could be played in a different format with the teams being divided into two groups, now it is being known that they will follow the same round-robin schedule.