“The IPL will take place between September 19 and October 15,” Rajeev Shukla, vice chairman of the Cricket Control Council of India (BCCI), told IANS on Wednesday.
There are 31 matches left to play, after the tournament was suspended on May 4 due to positive Covid-19 cases in the camps of four of the eight franchises. The cash-rich league was suspended midway through, after 29 matches had ended.
The second half of the tournament, which will be played in the UAE, will however be too close to the start of the T20 World Cup which begins around mid-October.
Although the International Cricket Council (ICC) has not officially announced the dates for the T20 World Cup immediately following the IPL, October 18 is the date announced in some neighborhoods.
The T20 World Cup, which will be hosted by BCCI, will likely take place in the United Arab Emirates as well as another Gulf country, possibly Oman.
The BCCI has until June 28 to tell the ICC if it is able to host the tournament as the Covid-19 pandemic is still not over in India.
The arrival of October 15 leaves only three days between the end of the IPL 2021 and the start of the T20 World Cup, if it begins on October 18.
The ICC told IANS on Wednesday that there is no mandatory gap rule between a national tournament and an ICC tournament.
“We will only publish the dates and location of the T20 World Cup in July. We cannot comment on it at this time. But there is no rule on whether a gap is necessary before an ICC event. “The ICC needs 10 days to prepare the ground and the ground before an event. This is also a norm and not a rule,” said an ICC official.
“The rest is still being worked out between the BCCI and the ICC. We can only talk about it later,” the official said.
When asked if the gap would be too small for players to move from IPL to the T20 World Cup, Shukla said the small gap shouldn’t be a problem as the initial phase of T20 World will involve probably untested nations.
“There should be no problem with the gap. The first phase of the T20 World Cup will include qualifying [according to BCCI’s knowledge]. So the main teams like India and others will have sufficient gaps, ”said Shukla, hinting that the untested nations could play the tournament first.
There are 16 teams in the 2021 T20 World Cup, including five untested nations.
Papua New Guinea, the Netherlands, Namibia, Scotland and Oman are also participating in addition to the 11 test nations which also include Afghanistan and Ireland.
The first matches involving weaker teams could be staged in Oman.
The ICC, however, said it could not confirm this as this is still under development.
“The process is still under development. We cannot comment on it,” said the ICC official.
On the upcoming Indian tour to Sri Lanka in July, featuring ODIs and T20Is, Shukla said it is still under construction and a final decision will be made soon.
Broadcasters Sony Sports India, however, have already released the schedule stating that the series will start on July 13 and end on July 25.