Following the indefinite suspension of the Indian Premier League (IPL 2021), an official associated with the tournament has reportedly stated that conducting the tournament in the UAE was the first choice for the Governing Council, but that the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) shot the proposal down.
The 2020 edition of the tournament took place in the UAE and ended without any hassles. Apart from positive tests before the tournament started during travel, there were no cases of COVID-19 reported. However, in this year’s tournament, with the second wave at its peak, as many as 11 confirmed positive cases were reported after the tournament began with 6 of those being in the teams’ bio-bubbles. This was the last straw for the IPL and hence, it was suspended.
Official reveals initial plans to conduct IPL 2021 in UAE
An official associated with the IPL spoke to TOI about the suspension of the tournament and said, “UAE was always the first choice of the IPL GC for this year’s tournament. Even a week before the start of IPL, they asked BCCI to move the entire event to the UAE. Emirates Cricket Board was also put on immediate alert and they were willing to conduct IPL again even if BCCI decided to shift the tournament in such short notice. But nobody in the BCCI showed the urgency to take the step. The officials kept waiting for each other to make the first move and eventually the proposal was shot down.”
A BCCI official also confirmed the same saying, “The Board got an enormous confidence boost after conducting the Test, T20I and ODI series against England at three venues smoothly. The IPL, though, was a far bigger challenge with more teams, personnel and venues at play; but the BCCI felt that it had the infrastructure to pull it off. However, they couldn’t anticipate that the situation would worsen so much in the next 20-odd days from the start of IPL.”
Now that it’s all over, it remains to be seen as to whether the IPL would resume some time in the distant future. As of now, the focus will be on getting everybody home safely.