The Indian Premier League final could now take place on October 15 as the Cricket Control Council of India (BCCI) seeks to reduce the number of double matches to avoid the September heat in the United Arab Emirates.
While the Council is expected to announce the final tournament program in two weeks, Sports star understands that the tournament will start on September 19.
The aim is to reduce the double titles to six or seven against 10. And the BCCI and Emirates Cricket Board now plan to make the most of the window from September 15 to October 15.
After deliberations with local authorities, BCCI officials estimate that having 10 games in the afternoon could be difficult for teams in such a short window. “The players are going to have a long season, so it is advisable to avoid double-heads as much as possible,” said an insider on the board.
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A BCCI delegation – led by President Sourav Ganguly – carried out a reconnaissance of the places and met with the local authorities. It is believed that efforts are underway to allow a limited number of supporters – who are fully vaccinated – to access the stadiums and therefore hosting the final on October 15 will be beneficial as it is the season of holidays. “All stakeholders have been consulted,” said the Council official.
Efforts are underway to ensure foreign players are available, and last week BCCI chief Ganguly told this post that the tournament will be held with everyone who is available.
BCCI had asked the West Indies Cricket Board to launch the Caribbean Premier League a week earlier, but there was no response. “We are in discussions with the boards and we are confident that most of the players will be available,” said the board insider.
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The Indian team will complete the Test Series against England on September 14 and fly to Dubai the next day on a charter flight. Players may have to undergo a three-day hard quarantine in the UAE, but this could be canceled as it will be a bubble-to-bubble transfer.
With the T20 World Cup likely to be moved to the United Arab Emirates, the board also plans to host the knockout stage at one location – preferably Dubai – while the other two pitches – Sharjah and Abu Dhabi – will be handed over to the ICC for the T20. Preparations for the World Cup.
From now on, franchises plan to reach the United Arab Emirates by mid-August, have a mandatory quarantine and then start training.