The Indian Premier League (IPL) was halted this year after several players and ground staff tested positive for covid-19, is all set to resume in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) from September 19th.
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) decided the date for the first match to be played outside India following meetings with the cricket board of the UAE. While matches begin from September 19th, the league will end with its final one on Dussehra, October 15th.
A BCCI official close to the developments of the meetings happening between both the countries said the talks ended on a good note and the BCCI is confident of successfully conducting the rest of the IPL matches in Sharjah, Abu Dhabi and Dubai.
“The discussions went really well and with ECB already giving us the oral nod to host the event ahead of the BCCI SGM, it was about closing the deal over the last week. The first game after the season resumes will be held on September 19 while we will have the final on October 15. The BCCI was always keen on a 25-day window to finish the remaining matches,” the official said.
With the pandemic forcing nations to draw different travel restrictions, the official said update on the participation of foreign players isn’t here yet but the BCCI is expecting a positive response.
“The discussions have started and we are keeping fingers crossed that the foreign players will be mostly available. If a couple of them do not manage to turn up, we shall then decide on the future course of action. But keeping fingers crossed for now and hoping to have an action-packed end to the 14th edition in UAE,” the official said.
The Indian Board also has the confidence of IPL team owners who believe BCCI will achieve the desired outcome after discussions with foreign boards to make their players available to play in the remaining matches.
Speaking about the same, a franchise official said, “What we were made aware after the BCCI SGM is that the board will be speaking to the foreign boards and check on the availability of the foreign cricketers. We are confident that the BCCI will find the best possible solution and honestly it is a matter of the BCCI officials speaking to the respective board officials, so we should wait to hear from the board on this.”
“Yes, if we do end up missing some of the foreign stars, that is an area which would need some attention when it comes to picking replacements as the foreign players are also integral to the teams. Team balance can go for a toss, so keeping fingers crossed on that one,” he added.