When IPL 2021 was suddenly halted in the middle of India’s second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, it posed a slew of unanswered questions. Although there was no doubt that step 2 of IPL 2021 would take place, the only concern was when it would take place if it did.
Well, it seems that our questions have been answered, as Boria Majumdar, one of BCCI’s close advisers, has indicated that the BCCI is considering a three-week timeframe, with the launch date set for September 18 or September 19, and the final set for October 9 or October 10.
Although the BCCI has yet to make an official announcement, let’s look at how they could execute phase 2 of the tournament, which has 31 matches remaining in the 3-week window. Let’s look at a possible start and finish date, as well as how the double-headers will play out over that time.
Looking at the present state of the IPL 2021, we can see that it is nearly halfway through with about 31 matches remaining. BCCI had and expected an additional 28 days to complete this, depending on the initial timetable. However, the 28-day timeframe will no longer be available because BCCI would now have 21 days in the September-October season.
In terms of upcoming tours, Team India will compete in the World Test Championship final against New Zealand in June, followed by a 5-match Test series against England from August 4 to September 14, 2021. It is almost certain that the Test Series schedule will not change, and if IPL 2021 must take place, it will only do so after September 14 and before October 14, when the T20 World Cup is scheduled to begin.
After the final Test, it is anticipated that England and Team India players will fly out of Manchester and serve a two-day quarantine in the UAE. This means that the IPL 2021 season will not begin until September 18, 2021. The players, on the other hand, will need at least one day to warm up and return to normal life. As a result, starting the tournament on September 18 does not seem to be a good option, and September 19 seems to be the most likely date.
Now that we know the possible IPL 2021 launch date of September 19, 2021, let’s see if BCCI can fit the 31 matches into the 3-week time frame. The most possible date for the IPL 2021 final is October 10, which falls on a Sunday. If this is right, the BCCI will have a total of 21 days to organise the tournament.
In general, knockouts need a 6-day timeframe, with one day between Qualifier 2 and Eliminator, and one day between Eliminator and Finals. We have 15 days left to play the remaining 27 matches. And if we assume the worst-case scenario, we’d also need at least 12 doubleheaders to complete the 27 games.
So, if the original schedule is followed, teams will play 12 double headers from September 23 to October 3, with the final group stage match between RCB and CSK taking place on October 3. Teams will compete in three different places, similar to how they were in the IPL 2020.
Overall, each of the three venues, Abu Dhabi, Dubai, and Sharjah, will host nine group stage matches. Two matches should be held in Dubai and two in Abu Dhabi during the knockout stages. As with the IPL 2020 final, the final is scheduled to be held in Dubai. Matches will be scheduled in all three places for both players, but the number will differ.
So that concludes our review and forecast for the IPL 2021 UAE timetable. It’s no secret that the IPL is one of the most eagerly anticipated sporting events of the year. With India now battling a pandemic, the IPL 2021 will have a ray of hope and optimism. What we can hope for now is for BCCI to reveal their decision shortly. Meanwhile, here’s what the IPL 2021 UAE timetable looks like.