Finally, IPL 2021 returns...But not in India! Here's when and where the matches will be held

The 14th season of the Indian Premier League is all set to come back to the floor as the Indian Cricket Board has arrived at a final decision to resume the games and the decision has come on Saturday, a month after suspending the games owing to the rampant spread of the COVID-19 pandemic among the players and staff. The decision has drawn major significance as the current season is progressing towards the climax. 

The Indian Cricket Board has decided to conduct the remaining matches of the season not in India in the wake of the horrendous second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. According to reports, the BCCI has announced that it will conduct the remaining matches of the IPL 2021 in September and October this year in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

The decision of conducting the games at the UAE was taken at a special general body meeting held virtually on Saturday. The BCCI has decided to seek an extension from the International Cricket Council (ICC) to take an appropriate call on hosting the men's T20 World Cup, originally scheduled in India between mid-October and November 14.

As the Indian Cricket Board has decided to conduct the IPL 2021 in UAE during September and October, it has sought consent from ICC regarding hosting the T20 World Cup as most of the players would be busy playing the IPL during the original schedule of the T20 world cup. 

In a media release issued on Saturday, the BCCI has said that the decision to shift the IPL which was suspended in early May at the halfway stage to the UAE was owing to the monsoon season in India which usually stretches between June and early October. In the statement, the BCCI said, "The Board of Control for Cricket in India on Saturday announced to complete the remaining matches of Vivo Indian Premier League 2021 season in the UAE."  

According to ANI, Vice-President of BCCI Rajeev Shukla said that the IPL has been moved to UAE for this season. The reports say that at the time the IPL was suspended, there were still 31 matches, including the four playoffs, left to be played. The BCCI had decided to pause the IPL indefinitely because of a growing number of COVID-19 positive cases during the second led of the tournament which was played in Delhi and Ahmedabad. 

As the IPL moves to UAE, this will be the second successive year that the Gulf country will be hosting the IPL. In 2020, the BCCI has conducted the entire tournament in the UAE cities including Dubai, Abu Dhabi, and Sharjah. With the current decision of moving the current season to the UAE, it has been reported that these three venues will be hosting the remaining games of the IPL 2021. The BCCI is expected to announce the entire dates and schedule of the UAE tour soon.

After the complete schedule, all the players who left to their respective countries would be returning to the UAE to resume the battle. During the current season, players like Varun Chakravarthy and Sandeep Warrier (Kolkata Knight Riders), Amit Mishra (Delhi Capitals), Wriddhiman Saha (Sunrisers Hyderabad), and staff including Mike Hussey and L Balaji had tested positive for the COVID-19 viral infection, leading the Indian cricket board to suspend the season. 

Two more Kolkata players Prasidh Krishna and Tim Seifert had tested positive for COVID-19 after the IPL was suspended. The BCCI had also announced the confirmation that the IPL would be moving to the UAE through its official Twitter handle. Mumbai Indians took to Twitter and wrote, "UAE, we are coming back." Several teams had also expressed that they are prepared and ready for the rest of the battle in the UAE.