A senior BCCI official told PTI on Tuesday that the postponed Indian Premier League will start tentatively on September 18 or 19 in the UAE, with as many as 10 double-headers scheduled to be played over a three-week span.
BCCI is expected to restart IPL 2021 in September-October
According to Cricbuzz, the BCCI is planning to hold the remainder of the IPL 2021 in the UAE in September-October. After their Special General Meeting (SGM) on May 29, the declaration could become official.
The 14th edition, which had to be postponed, is scheduled to begin about September 16-20 and conclude on October 9-10. The IPL is pitted against the forthcoming T20 World Cup, which starts on October 18, with both tournaments vying for time and space.
However, the Emirates Cricket Board (ECB), the host organiser of the ICC tournament, has assured the BCCI and decided to make flexible arrangements for the IPL scheduling, according to a BCCI member.
Centralized at one venue
The ICC's need to take over the grounds ten days before the start of the tournament in order to arrange for branding and other events would make scheduling difficult. In that situation, Cricbuzz has learned that the matches will be scheduled in a transitory fashion at the three available venues: Dubai, Sharjah, and Abu Dhabi. It would mean that the league is centralized at one venue for the final few days, allowing the ICC to take over the other two venues.
Given the time constraint of 22-23 days, the BCCI is said to be preparing several double-headers. Given the hot weather, they will be held at the end of September or the beginning of October.
Another issue that the BCCI and the eight franchises are concerned with is the availability of international players. The West Indies players are scheduled to arrive (the CPL concludes on September 19), as are the South Africans, but things get complicated when you consider considerations other than the cricket calendar.
Steve Smith, for example, may be reluctant to play for a fee of INR 1 crore (he was bought for INR 2.2 crore by Delhi), while Pat Cummins (bought for INR 15.50 crore by KKR) or Glenn Maxwell (bought for INR 14.25 crore by RCB) may make themselves available because they stand to lose INR 7-8 crores if they do not play the second half of the season.
As long as the situation with overseas players becomes clearer in the coming months, the BCCI's top priority will remain the completion of the season, failure of which will result in massive financial losses.