Despite the high hopes that this year’s Indian Premier League will be unbothered by the pandemic, the BCCI and the IPL governing council still ended up in an emergency virtual meeting to decide on the best thing to do for everyone’s safety. The 2021 VIVO IPL has been indefinitely suspended in its mid-season.
India and even the rest of the world just didn’t see the pandemic getting worse at this point in the country. Before April ended, India reported for the first time the highest number of COVID-19 daily cases in the country and things got worse as more cases and deaths were reported since then.
When the reports regarding the surge in the cases came out, cricket fans started to wonder what will happen to the IPL. Some remained hopeful and wanted to see the season conclude undisturbed because this is their way of dealing with the ongoing health crisis. They watch the matches religiously and participate in online betting in India. However, some also think that the BCCI was taking a long time to suspend the season.
Eventually, the BCCI got to a decision with the consideration of everyone’s safety. Today, what many are now thinking about is when and where the rest of the matches for this season of the IPL will be held. The BCCI has not released any official statements about this yet but according to BBCI President Sourav Ganguly, it’s certainly not going to be held in India.
Sri Lanka Expresses its Interest but the UAE Seems to be The Top Choice
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The BCCI is now faced with the dilemma of finding a window for the rest of the IPL matches. They are looking at the international cricket calendar but with how congested it is, it’s still hard to say where exactly it will take place.
While the BCCI is figuring things out, there are already countries that have expressed their interest in hosting the rest of the matches including Sri Lanka. The chief of Sri Lanka’s cricket managing committee, Arjuna de Silva, spoke about this recently.
De Silva said, Yes, we can certainly provide a window to host the IPL in September. We hear the UAE (United Arab Emirates) is their one option but Sri Lanka cannot be ignored for all reasons. We are planning to host the Lanka Premier League (LPL) in July-August and the grounds and other infrastructure will be ready for the IPL in September.”
The BCCI has not commented on this statement by the SLC just yet. However, there reports that are saying that the top choice of the BCCI to hold the remainder of the IPL season in the UAE. After all, last year’s season was able to conclude without any problems in the said venue.
The 2020 IPL sponsored by Dream11 was held in the UAE with less number of matches. It was successful because the IPL bio-secure bubble in the UAE wasn’t breached. No one tested positive within the bubble and this is most likely why BCCI is eyeing UAE once again. So far, the only problem withholding the rest of the matches there is the very hot weather in September.
Other Potential Venues
The United Kingdom can also be an option and even more viable one for the rest of the IPL season. Former England captain Kevin Pietersen is hoping the season would be picked off in September in the UK instead of the UAE.