UAE to stage IPL 2021 remaining matches


Indian Premier League to continue in the UAE Image: Khaleej Times

The remaining matchups of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 season will be held in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in September- October this year, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) announced on May 29th.

The IPL 2021 was suspended in May this year as BCCI didn’t want to compromise on the safety of the players, support staff and the other participants involved in organizing the tournament with an eye on the COVID-19 situation which is still very scary in India as more than 300,000 lives have been lost to the virulent virus till date.

‘The Times of India’ stated that there are 31 fixtures that are yet to be played in IPL 2021. The likely dates will be between September 18th and October 10th. The decision on resuming the League – that was earlier suspended – was taken at a BCCI Special General Meeting (SGM) held on May 29th wherein members unanimously agreed to resume IPL 2021.

The Indian Premier League (IPL) is a professional Twenty20 cricket league contested by eight teams based out of eight different Indian Cities. The league was founded by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) in 2007.

Mumbai (India)-headquartered the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is the governing body for cricket in India and is under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, Government of India. The board was formed in December 1928 as a Society, registered under the Tamil Nadu Societies Registration Act.

A news release sent out by BCCI stated, “The BCCI on Saturday (May 29th) announced to complete the remaining matches of VIVO Indian Premier League 2021 season in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) considering the monsoon season in India in the months of September-October this year.”

‘The Times of India’ further stated that the UAE being picked up as the consensus venue comes as no surprise considering the entire IPL 2020 was held in the Middle East country and things went off without a hitch. India is also scheduled to host the ICC T20 World Cup later this year and that matter too was discussed at the meeting.

The ICC Men’s T20 World Cup (earlier known as ICC World Twenty20) is the international championship of Twenty20 international cricket. Organized by cricket’s governing body, the International Cricket Council (ICC), the tournament currently consists of 16 teams, comprising top 10 teams from the rankings at the given deadline and six other teams chosen through the T20 World Cup Qualifier. All matches are played as Twenty20 Internationals.

The release further stated, “The BCCI SGM further authorized the office-bearers to seek an extension of time from the ICC to take an appropriate call on the hosting of ICC T20 World Cup 2021.”

A senior State association member said there is also a tax rebate issue which is still an ongoing process – “ICC wants tax waivers but we have to abide by the Government guidelines. But a World T20 in India means that all the stakeholders happen to gain. But sitting in May, you can’t predict the health emergency in October. So, we need some time.”

While IPL’s UAE shift was a foregone conclusion, the office-bearers intimated the general body about the issue of availability of players.

The State association member added, “The BCCI is pretty clear that even if there is a case of unavailability of English players due to their series against Pakistan, we are not going to plead to any of the Boards about releasing their players. The first and foremost thing is to complete the 31 remaining games of the IPL. We believe other aspects will be taken care of.”

Domestic players’ compensation

One member from a State association had informally raised the issue of domestic players’ compensation but he was told in no uncertain terms that this is not the appropriate forum as SGM needs to be held as per agenda.

Stated an official, “The compensation thing has already been passed at the AGM last January. Yes, they haven’t worked out a formula and trust me it’s not the easiest thing. Dada (Sourav Ganguly) has got approval for compensation but what’s the formula? Today, if a State gives contract to 20 players, which is a standard upper limit, there will be five who may just move court and say that this year they were supposed to be selected? These are things that the Board needs to sort out.”

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