The stage is set for the rest of the battle of the Indian Premier League in the United Arab Emirates. Days after the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has announced to conduct the rest of the matches in the Arab nation, the franchises are in full-fledged preparations for the battle which would be unfolded between September and October this year. The season was halted in May owing to the grounds of COVID-19 spread among the players.
According to reports, BCCI has been finalizing talks with the UAE to conduct the remaining matches. The Indian Cricket Board has decided to conduct the rest of the IPL 2021 season in 25 days and it also has planned to conduct two matches per day in the first four days in the Gulf country. In a total of 60 matches, the Indian soil has hosted 29 matches so far and the rest 31 battles including the final would be fought in the UAE.
The Indian Cricket Board has held discussions with its UAE's counterpart concerning hosting the IPL season and the reports say that the UAE board has accepted the schedule proposed by the BCCI and the matches will be hosted by three venues - Dubai, Abu Dhabi, and Sharjah and the matches will be held with 30% of attendance at every stadium with the view of adhering to the COVID-19 protocols.
As it was expected that the BCCI will be announcing the final schedule of matches on June 28, the management of the teams had begun talks with the hotels in the UAE to accommodate the players and staff. The franchises have started working on the logistics and while they are looking to move to the UAE by the third week of August, a final call will be taken after discussions with the BCCI on quarantine protocols and other factors.
The franchises are hopeful that the foreign players in the team will be joining the battle in UAE as the IPL will be closely followed by the T20 World Cup. The reports close to the developments say that the deals will be finalized with the hotel after the BCCI announces the travel plan to the UAE. As the last season of the IPL was also hosted by the UAE, most of the teams are planning to book the same hotel as like last year.
The BCCI has on May 29 announced that the rest of the matches will be held in the UAE. 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.
After the complete schedule, all the players who left to their respective countries are expected to 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.