The Board for Cricket Control in India (BCCI) on Saturday announced that the remainder of the 2021 VIVO Indian Premier League is set to be played in the UAE, with the tournament set to resume in September. The decision was taken at a Special General Meeting (SGM) held virtually, where members unanimously signaled their intentions to resume the IPL.
The decision to shift the remainder of the games away from India was taken keeping in mind the monsoon season in the country which generally stretches till late September. This will also be the second consecutive season where IPL games will be played in the UAE, with the entirety of the 2020 Indian Premier League also being played there.
Dates and schedules are yet to be announced for the remaining games of the competition, but it is being reported in the media that the tentative resumption date for the competition will be in the third week of September.
"The BCCI has spoken to all the stakeholders and the likely start could be between September 18th to 20th. Since September 18 is a Saturday and 19 a Sunday, it is more likely that you would want to re-start it on a weekend date," an official was earlier quoted as saying by news agency PTI.
The news comes as welcome relief for cricket fans all over the world, specifically for Punjab Kings fans who would be optimistic for a strong end by their team just as they did last season. Punjab Kings won five of their last seven games in 2020, and if KL Rahul’s side can put together a similar run of results in 2021, they would most likely qualify for the knockout stages.
Punjab Kings have played 19 games so far in the UAE in the IPL, winning 11 of those games. They were also the only side to remain unbeaten in the UAE leg of the competition in 2014- a season when they got to the final.