The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is keen for the 2021 edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) to take place in India this time around. However, complications surrounding the coronavirus pandemic are yet to dissipate. Now, after a meeting of the new Governing Council of the IPL on Monday that was conducted virtually, the BCCI has reportedly remained open about hosting the tournament in the UAE itself although they would make all efforts possible to hold it in the nation itsself. The previous stance of the BCCI was to ensure the tournament took place in India itself, whatever the cost.
Now, a news report in the Mumbai Mirror says that the IPL being held in India will depend largely on how the Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 tournament pans out. “How we approach the next IPL is dependent on how the Mushtaq Ali plays out,” a BCCI member told the Mumbai Mirror.
The report further states that the IPL GC has now decided to open the trade window and the franchises will be given time up to January 21 to finalise the players they want to retain for the season. The auction for the season is in the second week of February and it could be held some time around February 11.
The BCCI has not yet sat down with the franchises to ascertain their preference of venue but the board is well aware that a large number of the teams want the IPL to be held in UAE this year as well. The main reasons for this are the challenges borne out of the pandemic situation.
There's also the fear that that any lapses in organising the IPL could endanger the conduct of the T20 World Cup that is to be staged in India in October-November 2021.
The fact that it has the experience of conducting it in UAE gives the BCCI extra time to decide on the venue. Members are aware that the league can be moved to Dubai-Abu Dhabi-Sharjahat a short time.
The next GC meeting will see the venue for the tournament decided but as of now the board are adopting a wait and watch approach as they want to see how the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy happens.
The preparation for the tournament has already started with teams reaching their respective venues. The league stage will get underway on January 10 at six different venues – Mumbai, Kolkata, Bangalore, Baroda, Indore and Chennai.
The knockout stage of the tournament will take place in Ahmedabad. The final is on January 31.