IPL 2021: Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) hinted that the remainder of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 will be played at some point of the year despite the tedious task of identifying another window in a packed cricket calendar. As it turns out, board president, Sourav Ganguly is not too hopeful of hosting the remainder of the tournament in India.
The BCCI suspended IPL 2021 indefinitely on May 4 after positive Covid-19 cases emerged in bio-bubbles across multiple franchises in Ahmedabad and Delhi. As many as 29 matches were played before the call was taken. India players and a section of overseas contingent have returned home after the BCCI announced the decision earlier this month.
Sourav Ganguly, head of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), told Sportstar magazine that COVID-19 restrictions meant it was impossible to stage the remaining games in India.
“There are lots of organisational hazards like 14-day quarantine. It can’t happen in India,” Ganguly said.
“This quarantine is tough to handle. Too early to say how we can find a slot to complete the IPL.”
Warwickshire, Surrey and the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) are keen to host the remaining matches in September, but a BCCI official told Reuters on Friday they were yet to discuss the offer.
The entire 2020 tournament was played in the United Arab Emirates because of the pandemic.
Ganguly also said India would play three one-dayers and five Twenty20 Internationals in Sri Lanka in July though the BCCI is likely to field a second-string squad.
Virat Kohli’s side are due to leave for England in early June for the World Test Championship final in Southampton against New Zealand. They will then play a five-Test series against England.
People will say a lot of things in any case: Ganguly
“You can say that now in hindsight that the IPL should have been called off earlier. Mumbai and Chennai (legs) did not have cases. Only when the IPL reached Delhi and Ahmedabad did the cases rise. People will say a lot of things in any case.
“The English Premier League had so many people affected. But they could reschedule the matches. But you can’t do that with IPL. You stop it for seven days and it is done. Players go back home and then the process of quarantine starts from scratch,” he added.
“As I said, we would have continued if there were no cases. We would have completed the IPL. The players were in the bubble and there were no crowds at the venues. Players were not getting infected. Once the players got affected, we called it off. Look at leagues going around the world. They have had Covid cases, but they have continued.”