BCCI mulls over UAE, UK, and Australia as potential venues for ‘Phase 2’ of IPL 2021. The 14th season of the Indian Premier League may have got suspended midway through the season due to multiple Covid cases but the BCCI, IPL franchises, and various stakeholders are in agreement to stage what has been dubbed as ‘Phase 2’ of the competition at some point this year.
The 14th season was suspended by the BCCI on Tuesday after multiple covid cases across four different franchises rocked the competition.
BCCI Have To Make Up Its Mind To Chose The Overseas Venue For IPL 2021
While one thing is certain, according to a report in Times of India, that the competition will not take place in India after what unfolded this week, the BCCI and its stakeholders are mulling at three different options.
“It has to be played overseas. Certain suggestions have already been heard. The BCCI just has to make up its mind,” top sources in the board said as quoted by TOI.
The first option that the BCCI is considering is to stage ‘Phase 2’ in the UAE before the T20 World Cup in the month of September. The Indian Team will be in England for the Test series till September 14. After the series, the Indian and England can directly move to the UAE, finish one week of quarantine, and complete the remaining 31 games before October 22- the day when ICC T20 World Cup is scheduled to start.
“If the World Cup is shifted, the whole scheduling will get re-worked anyway,” said those in the know. However, they added: “Weather will be a problem because September remains a very hot month and UAE only begins to cool down October onwards.”
The sudden postponement of the IPL, combined with the situation in the country, has forced BCCI into looking at other options for the resumption of the tournament. Last year, the BCCI hosted the entire edition of the cash-rich tournament in the Middle East, across three venues – Sharjah, Abu Dhabi, and Dubai – which could serve as a potential venue this year as well.
England And Australia Are Also Good Options To Hold Stage 2 Of IPL 2021
The second option that is being explored is to stage the remaining season at the backend of the English season.
“The weather will be good for cricket. It will suit the broadcaster too because time zones can be adjusted and overseas players from outside of India and England will be willing to travel,” they added.
The third option is to barter the hosting rights of the T20 World Cup with Australia. If the Australian government relaxes its travel restrictions on India in the forthcoming months, then Cricket Australia can host the upcoming T20 World Cup followed by India in 2022.
“Cricket Australia certainly won’t mind this exchange if their government allows. And since international players will anyway arrive there for the World Cup, Perth – which is three-and-half hours ahead of Indian Standard Time – can host Phase-2 to cater to Indian prime-time,” sources said.
“This can happen only if the Australian government changes its mind and if broadcasters are willing to agree,” they add. All three options will be in play. “A new destination will infuse freshness into the league and that itself will attract viewership. England and Australia are good options,” industry sources added.
According to a report from TOI, the BCCI are also looking at Australia and the United Kingdom as two major options, especially the latter, with the Indian team touring for a long Test series. The report suggested that BCCI could host the tournament in UAE post the England tour, before the start of the World T20.
Another prime option, the United Kingdom has emerged keeping an eye on UAE being used as a host destination for the global T20 tournament, World T20. In that case, the BCCI will continue their tour to the UK, with the last leg of the IPL.
However, the BCCI believes that the 3rd option Cricket Australia won’t mind the exchange. But given that Australia has closed its borders with India, recently, it is yet to be seen if things improve between the two countries.