The 14th edition of the IPL looks set to be completed in 2020, but it looks set to involve a move away from India in the process. The tournament was brought to a thundering halt on 4th May amid a spike in cases amongst players and staff, including members of the Kolkata Knight Riders and Chennai Super Kings. Now, with the threat of the monsoon season causing further disruption, should the competition resume in the autumn, hosting the remaining matches on home soil looks all but impossible.
A move to the United Arab Emirates looks set to be the solution for the BCCI. They also face a tough decision over the future of the T20 World Cup, which is scheduled to be held in India during October and November. Though, the first priority will be overseeing the resumption of their flagship event, which still has 31 matches left to play – over half the tournament. The news of a move will be music to fans’ ears, who follow the IPL very closely. Popular cricket betting apps such as bet365 and Parimatch will have all the usual odds, special markets, and live betting features available when the tournament gets underway later in the year.
A packed cricket schedule
The postponement of the original 2021 IPL has caused a headache for cricket administrators. In a year that was already very busy due to a quiet 2020, trying to find a window of around four weeks to play each of the remaining matches is no easy task. India are already in place for the final of the World Test Championship against New Zealand in Southampton, a competition that has faced its fair share of disruption.
Later this summer, they will contest a five-match Test series against England, which is due to finish just a few days before the first match of the rescheduled IPL gets underway. Although plans to adapt this schedule have been mooted, there has been no firm progress towards a solution as of yet. This could be a bone of contention between the ECB and BCCI, who will want stars from both sides to be available to resume the T20 competition.
There continue to be doubts over the participation of international stars who face a choice between their lucrative IPL contracts and national team duties elsewhere. The scheduling could particularly hit England’s stars with a Pakistan tour due to get underway in October, a day before the presumed date for the IPL final.
UAE to the rescue once more
This isn’t the first time that the UAE has stepped in to host the IPL. The entirety of the 2020 edition was held in the Middle East, so players, coaches, and administrators will be very familiar with the setup in Abu Dhabi, Sharjah, and Dubai. IPL 7 was also held across a combination of two countries, with the first 20 matches of the competition in the UAE due to a clash of dates with the general elections in India.
The Pakistan Super League is also due to be completed in the UAE with a flurry of matches throughout June. That tournament was suspended in March after a flurry of positive COVID cases emerged in Karachi. The decision to postpone the remaining games left 20 matches still to be completed, leaving the PCB with a significant issue. Those will now be played at Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi across the next few weeks, with several doubleheaders required to enable them to squeeze into the busy schedule.