The remaining matches of the Indian Premier League (IPL), which was suspended earlier this month, will be completed in the United Arab Emirates in September and October, according to the Indian Cricket Board (BCCI).
- The IPL was suspended earlier this month due to India’s worsening COVID-19 situation
- Organisers are trying to squeeze the remaining 31 IPL games into a packed calendar
- The BCCI asked for an extension to make a call on hosting arrangements for the T20 World Cup in October and November
The BCCI said in a statement that they had asked the International Cricket Council (ICC) for more time to make a call on whether India would be able to host the Twenty20 World Cup in October and November.
The popular IPL Twenty20 tournament was suspended with 31 matches left to play on May 4 after several players and backroom staff tested positive for the new coronavirus amid a devastating second wave of COVID-19 in India.
The UAE, the back-up venue for the T20 World Cup that hosted the entire IPL in 2020 because of the pandemic, was preferred “considering the monsoon season in India”, the BCCI said.
India reported its lowest daily rise in new COVID-19 cases for a month on Friday but the tally remained high at 186,364 infections and 3,660 deaths.
BCCI head Sourav Ganguly said this month that COVID-19 restrictions meant it was impossible to stage the remaining games, about half the season, in India.
Organisers are likely to be looking to squeeze the matches into a window between England’s The Hundred tournament, finishing in late August; India’s Test tour of England, which finishes in mid-September; and the Twenty20 World Cup, which is scheduled to start in mid-October.
About 40 Australian cricketers, support staff and broadcasters are just about to finish hotel quarantine in Sydney after getting a chartered flight out of the country two weeks ago as COVID-19 took hold.
Australia’s male limited-overs stars are set to play five T20s and three ODIs on a tour of the West Indies in July, but do not have any other international commitments until a one-off Test against Afghanistan in Hobart on November 27.
But some, including captain Aaron Finch and Glenn Maxwell, have signed on to play in The Hundred, which ends on August 22.
England cricket chief Ashley Giles said English players would not be available to see out the IPL if it clashed with the international calendar and it is unlikely other countries would risk their players so close to the World Cup.
That would take some of the gloss off the competition, which usually attracts the best players in the world, but the BCCI may try to finish it off and fulfil their broadcast and sponsorship contracts without star imports.
BCCI treasurer Arun Singh Dhumal said in early May that the board was facing losses of about $350 million in revenue because of the suspension of the tournament.