BCCI recently announced the resumption of the Indian Premier League (IPL) in the UAE in September with the Finals to be played on 14th October. The tournament will also be closely followed by the ICC T20 World Cup, also in the UAE, only a couple of days later. In ICC’s latest announcement, the cricket board confirmed that the T20 World Cup will get underway on October 17th, and the Super 12s will begin from October 24th.
With the play suspended in India for the IPL in May early this year, the potential overlap in the schedule between IPL and T20 World Cup was always on cards. Moreover, with the English summer finishing by 14th September, the Indian players will only have a 4-day gap each between the three mega-series. Not only is it tiring for the players physically, and mentally, but also is a task to be managed logistically. The quarantine rules and regulations in the UAE preceded by the bubble-to-bubble transfer of the Indian internationals on either side of the IPL is slated to attract some tension.
It will also be interesting to see how the players react to the proximity in the scheduling and if any of the key Indians make themselves unavailable for the latter half of IPL. Currently, the Indian team in England has been released out of the bio-bubble for a month-long vacation. The Test series starting in August will mandate the players to re-enter the bubble in the second half of July. However, BCCI remains in talks with the ECB for a few first-class practice matches against county teams.
T20 World Cup in UAE will be hosted by the BCCI:
In another development, the ICC announced the details about the scheduling and planning of the T20 World Cup 2021. The T20 World Cup will kick off with 8 teams battling it out for the four vacant positions in the Super 12s of the main draw. Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Ireland, Netherlands, Scotland, Namibia, Oman, Papua New Guinea, divided into groups of 4 each will fight for a top-2 spot to be included with the other 8 qualified teams – India, Pakistan, South Africa, New Zealand, Australia, England, West Indies, Afghanistan.
Earlier, the ICC confirmed that the BCCI would retain hosting rights of the T20 World Cup, even if the tournament is moved out of India. The board could also be looking at including another associate country for hosting the multi-national event.
“A final decision on the host country will be taken later this month. The Board also confirmed that the BCCI will remain the hosts of the event regardless of where the event is played,” the ICC said in an official release.
Having said that, the entire schedule for the Indian team is jam-packed with an unprecedented amount of traffic. Therefore it’d be interesting to see how the Indian team plans their approach, especially for those who need to be preserved for the T20 World Cup 2021.