The remaining matches of the Indian Premier League that were postponed after a Covid-19 outbreak within the bio-bubbles of various teams would be played between September 19– October 15 in the United Arab Emirates, Rajeev Shukla, vice-president of BCCI told IANS. The second half of the tournament in all likelihood will end very close to the T20 World Cup, which is most likely to be held in the UAE and Oman since India’s Covid-19 situation cannot be predicted.
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It is estimated that the World Cup would begin on October 18. The BCCI has sought time till June 28 to confirm their ability to hold the tournament in India but as per various reports, they have already communicated to the ICC to begin arrangements in UAE and Oman.
If the World Cup starts on October 18, the gap between the end of IPL to the beginning of the WC will be just three days.
An ICC official told IANS, “We will release the dates and venue of the T20 World Cup only in July. We cannot comment on it as of now. But there is no rule on the need for a gap ahead of an ICC event. The ICC needs 10 days to prepare the pitch and the ground ahead of an event.”
Shukla too brushed off the notion of the gap between the two big events being less. He said, “There should be no problem with the gap. The first phase of the T20 World Cup will comprise qualifiers. So, the main teams like India and others will get sufficient gaps.”
16 teams would play the T20 World Cup, six of which are non-Test playing countries, in the Netherlands, Papua New Guinea, Scotland, Namibia and Oman. The first few matches will apparently be held in Oman.
A big question for all teams is the availability of their overseas players. The England Cricket Board has made it clear that their players would not be available during that period as they would prefer giving importance to their international calendar.
The teams are yet to receive any confirmation from the BCCI over their foreign recruits. These players very often have huge roles to play in a franchise’s success. Players like Chris Morris, Rashid Khan, Faf du Plessis and Jos Buttler are MVPs of their respective teams.
Pat Cummins, Kolkata Knight Riders’ spearhead pacer’s availability for the IPL has already gone out of the window since he would like to focus on the World Cup as well as the Ashes scheduled later this year, as per the Australian media.
BCCI officials have talked with the Caribbean Premier League organisers to prepone their tournament by some days from its ending on September 19 to help adjust the IPL.
Otherwise, the two big leagues would have clashed with one another and some overseas superstars would have been playing CPL.
Now, it remains to be seen if the CPL advances its dates to accommodate IPL and how many overseas stars get to don their IPL team jerseys and entertain fans, albeit away from home.