IPL 2021 Phase 2 window confirmed: Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma and Co are set to complete their remaining IPL 2021 matches in September-October before the ICC T20 World Cup. As per a TOI report, the BCCI has chalked out a plan to conduct the IPL 2021 Phase 2 that will be conducted in the UAE in a one-month window between September 15 and October 15. The BCCI is currently in talks with the ECB to reduce the gap between the 2nd and 3rd Test of India’s series against England but even if that does not materialise, it will have a 30-day window to play the remaining 31 matches with eight double-headers over four weekends.
The BCCI, which has called for a Special General Meeting (SGM) on May 29, is likely to announce the plans on that day. The dilemma has been over two factors — first the ICC T20 World Cup and the second is India’s 5-match Test series against England.
IPL 2021 Phase 2 window confirmed: The ICC T20 World Cup is scheduled to be played from October 18 in India. But if the COVID-19 crisis continues in India, UAE will be the likely destination with ICC taking a call on June 2 AGM. But BCCI is still trying to keep the World Cup in India that will see the stadiums in the UAE available for IPL matches.
The other factor, the five-match 41-day Test series between India and England in the UK. There is a nine-day gap between the 2nd and 3rd Test. The 2nd Test starts on August 12-16 and the 3rd from August 25.
“If that gap can be reduced to four, it will allow BCCI five extra days to make use of. If we can have those extra days eked out from the India-England schedule, then it adds to the window. If not, then within these 30 days, a full day will have to be set aside for the Indian team and English cricketers to travel from the UK to the UAE, five days will have to be set aside for the knockouts later,” a source was quoted saying by the TOI.
IPL 2021 Phase 2 window confirmed: “That will leave the BCCI with 24 days to conclude 27 matches. This window has four weekends available, which means a total of eight Saturdays and Sundays for doubleheaders that can accommodate 16 matches. That will leave the BCCI with 11 matches to be held in 19 days. That’s a week extra,” the source added.
IPL 2021 Phase 2 window confirmed: However, the primary concern is the ICC T20 World Cup. For now, the BCCI believes it won’t be a problem if the IPL 2021 Phase 2 and the World Cup are held at two different venues. As only four teams will be involved in the IPL playoffs, players from the other four can join their respective sides for the ICC T20 World Cup preparations before the playoffs.
“The IPL will, in fact, be the perfect platform to warm up for the ICC event. The ICC is watching this space with keen interest and will not interfere with the logistics as long as it does not conflict with the World Cup window,” the source said.
BCCI’s plans depend on ICC T20 World Cup to be conducted in India. As the stadiums are to be handed over to the ICC at least 15 days prior to the start of any ICC tournament, there won’t be enough time for the IPL if it was to happen in the UAE. While the third wave of COVID-19 is still a possibility, the BCCI and the ICC will be monitoring the situation and a call will only be taken at a later date. For now, the World Cup stays in India while the IPL 2021 Phase 2 moves to the UAE.