IPL phase 2 window confirmed, however, obstacles still remain

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The Emirates Cricket Board (ECB) is in a pickle since they are set to face an issue with too much on their plate. In the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), and the International Cricket Council (ICC) all required fields in the United Arab Emirates to meet upcoming domestic and international commitments.

The UAE will host 20 PSL 2021 Phase 2 matches starting June 5. The matches will take place over the course of at least 20 days. The UAE has become Asia’s main sporting destination due to the current COVID-19 pandemic.

In September-October, New Zealand will play Pakistan in three ODIs and three T20Is in the UAE, which will take up at least 15 days on the calendar. It will be impossible to accommodate both for ECB with BCCI preparing to hold IPL 2021 from September 15 to October 15.

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Ireland will play Afghanistan in a three-match T20I series in the United Arab Emirates. Afghanistan is unable to play at home, and India is unavailable. The series will have to be rescheduled or postponed if IPL phase 2 is held.

The ICC T20 World Cup, though, could be the most serious issue of all. If the ICC chooses the UAE over India as the preferred location, the Emirates Cricket Board will have to give over the grounds to the ICC by October 1. This effectively puts an end to any chance of the IPL 2021 Phase 2 being held in the UAE.

Even if the Emirates Cricket Board and the BCCI reach an agreement, the next hurdle will be vaccination. While Team India members have previously received vaccinations, domestic cricketers have not. Furthermore, immunizing everyone in the face of a vaccine shortage will be a major challenge. Adding to the misery, the BCCI is worried about the foreign players’ availability during the period since the majority of international cricketers will be focused on tending to their national obligations. England, New Zealand, and Afghanistan will all compete in bilateral series for their respective countries. Continuing the chain of hassle, the Caribbean Premier League has now rendered the availability of the West Indies players doubtful for the initial 10 days.

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