The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) Vice-President Rajeev Shukla on Saturday confirmed that the remaining matches of Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 will be played in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). However, BCCI Secretary Jay Shah said that COVID-19 wasn't the reason behind the decision. He cited "weather restrictions" as the reason behind the decision to stage the remaining matches of IPL 2021 in the UAE.
"See we took this decision to conduct IPL in the UAE because it will be monsoon here (in India) and it will not be feasible to hold matches here in September and that is why we are taking IPL to the UAE," Jay Shah told news agency ANI.
"We are moving IPL to the UAE only due to weather restrictions as we cannot hold IPL here at the time of monsoon. How can we hold IPL in September in Mumbai or Ahmedabad or any other venues at the time of monsoon?....It doesn't make any sense," he added.
The BCCI Secretary further talked about the T20 World Cup, which is slated to take place in India in October. He said the board will only take a decision after holding a discussion with the International Cricket Council (ICC).
"And as far as the T20 world Cup is concerned, we will seek time from ICC and decide later. As of now, we are in the mind frame of holding tournaments in the safe zone and we will see how the situation is in the upcoming days. The only thing I can say for now is to seek time from ICC and decide accordingly," he said.
Meanwhile, the BCCI is trying to convince Cricket West Indies to advance the start of the Caribbean Premier League by a week or 10 days to ensure a seamless bubble-to-bubble transfer of players for the IPL's resumption in the UAE come September.
The CPL is scheduled to get underway from August 28 with the final to be played on September 19, while the remaining part of IPL is likely to be held from September 18 to October 10, not leaving the players with any time to settle down.
"We are in talks with Cricket West Indies. We are hoping that if CPL can be finished a few days in advance, it would help in bubble to bubble transfer of all players to Dubai and in time to complete the mandatory three-day quarantine," a BCCI source, privy to the development, told news agency PTI on Sunday.
If the BCCI and CWI fail to reach an agreement over dates, some of the biggest players could miss the initial few matches or may be the first half of the IPL. The big names involved in both the T20 leagues are Mumbai Indians' five-time IPL-winning influential all-rounder Kieron Pollard, the swashbuckling Chris Gayle, seasoned all-rounder Dwayne Bravo, Shimron Hetmyer, Jason Holder, Nicholas Pooran, Fabien Allen, Keemo Paul, Sunil Narine and Trinidad and Tobago coach Brendon McCullum, who is also at the helm of affairs in Kolkata Knight Riders.
(With PTI and ANI inputs)
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