IPL to resume on September 19, final on October 15
The remainder of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 season is set to resume on September 19 in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), while the final will take place on October 15. A Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) official informed ANI about the development. It is understood that Dubai, Sharjah, and Abu Dhabi will host the remaining matches. Here is more.
"The discussions went really well and with ECB already giving us the oral nod to host the event ahead of the BCCI SGM, it was about closing the deal over the last week. The first game after the season resumes will be held on September 19, while we will have the final on October 15," the official told ANI.
Earlier this month, the BCCI had announced that the remainder of the IPL 2021 season will be held in the UAE in the September-October window. Notably, the cricket board cited "monsoon season" as the reason to shift the tournament outside India. The cash-rich league was postponed midway through the season after several COVID-19 positive cases were reported among players.
A number of overseas stars might end up missing the tournament. Notably, the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) 2021 is scheduled to run from August 28 to September 19. Hence, the West Indian players could give the IPL a miss as it could start from mid-September. While the English players won't participate, the availability of Australian and New Zealand players is also uncertain.
The BCCI Vice-President Rajeev Shukla had clarified that the IPL season will resume even if the foreign players remain unavailable. "Whichever foreign players are available is fine. Whoever is not available, it is not going to stop us from hosting the tournament," he had said.
The IPL 2021 was postponed indefinitely in the first week of May after various COVID-19 cases were reported inside the bio-secure bubbles of four franchises. Notably, the tournament had already reached its mid-way stage, with 31 games still remaining. Delhi Capitals lead the standings with six wins and two defeats. They are followed by the Chennai Super Kings and Royal Challengers Bangalore.