Wednesday 23 June 2021
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English counties offer to host the remainder of IPL 2021

Two English counties and the Marylebone Cricket Club have offered to host the remaining 31 matches of the indefinitely postponed IPL 2021

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is yet to hold discussions about the offer from English counties to host the remainder of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021, the board treasurer Arun Singh Dhumal said on Friday.

Two English counties — namely Warwickshire and Surrey — and the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) have reportedly offered to host the remaining 31 matches of IPL 2021, which was indefinitely postponed by the BCCI on May 4 after 4 players, 2 support staff and a bus cleaner tested positive for Covid-19 earlier this week.

India is going through a deadly second wave of the coronavirus which has brought the health infrastructure to its knees. Hosting a tournament like the IPL in India even if the crisis comes under control here seems virtually impossible at the moment.

“We will explore all the options and see when it’s feasible to play those matches and take a call at the right time. Their offer has not been discussed yet. It’s too early. Right now, our immediate plan is to finalise the preparation for the Twenty20 World Cup in India later this year,” BCCI treasurer Arun Singh Dhumal told Reuters, reacting to the news from the English counties.

Dhumal said the interest to stage IPL matches was indicative of its popularity abroad.

“IPL is huge, and everybody wants to host IPL matches. It has a massive fan following even outside India.”

BCCI officials have acknowledged how difficult it could be to squeeze in the remaining IPL matches in an already crowded calendar. The board president Sourav Ganguly said it may be able to resume in September, just before the T20 World Cup in India, but even that is a long shot at the moment.

Royal Challengers Bangalore shared a team video on their Twitter feed on Friday in which chairman Anand Kripalu told the players that the BCCI had “indicated” the tournament would resume in September.

“We trust the BCCI will obviously gather as much information as they can when looking at that window around September and obviously keep us all informed.

“We’ll be part of the decision-making process as well, just to make sure that when it’s rescheduled, the players and everybody involved is in a safe environment,” Bangalore’s Director of Cricket Operation Mike Hesson said in that video.

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