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IPL 2021: England, UAE and Australia emerge as potential venues to finish the tournament


Sourav Ganguly and Jay Shah
Sourav Ganguly and Jay Shah. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Multiple COVID-19 cases inside the bubble led to the BCCI suspending the 14th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) earlier this week. However, the tournament will definitely return later this year. As of now, England, UAE and Australia have emerged as the potential venues even as the Indian board is mulling the September window to stage the remainder of IPL 2021.

India as the venue is certainly not in question after what happened recently. Even the overseas players won’t be willing to come given the havoc wrecked by the second wave of COVID-19 in the country. This leaves BCCI with the only option of shifting the competition away from home not for the first time in its 14-year rich history.

“It has to be played overseas. Certain suggestions have already been heard. The BCCI just has to make up its mind,” source in the know of developments were quoted as saying by the Times of India.

Three suggestions have come up to finish IPL 2021

The first option to finish the remaining 31 matches of IPL 2021 is the tried and tested one and that is move it to the United Arab Emirates where the 2020 season was played without any hiccups. After India’s tour of England ends on September 14, the players can travel to the UAE and finish off the quarantine in a week or so to play in IPL before T20 World Cup begins on October 22, possibly in the same country.

“If the World Cup is shifted, the whole scheduling will get re-worked anyway. Weather will be a problem because September remains a very hot month and UAE only begins to cool down October onwards,” the sources said. Interestingly, UK is being looked at as a more viable option as of now as the BCCI can make use of the end of English summer to conclude the league.

Team India will be anyways based in the same country since June while the weather will be decent for cricket as well. “The weather will be good for cricket. It will suit the broadcaster too because the time zones can be adjusted and overseas players from outside of India and England will be willing to travel,” the sources further added.

The final option is to move the IPL to Australia which will definitely need a lot of rejig and approvals. The T20 World Cup can be shifted to Australia in the first place and BCCI can take the hosting rights of the 2022 edition of the marquee event. At the same time, the IPL can take place just before the ICC event and Perth can host the ‘Phase 2’ of the T20 extravaganza with the city close to the Indian Prime Time.

“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. This can happen only if the Australian government changes its mind and if broadcasters are willing to agree.

“A new destination will infuse freshness into the league and that itself will attract viewership. England and Australia are good options,” industry sources said.

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