The dates for the 2021 edition of the CPL have been changed, and it will now be contested in St Kitts and Nevis between August 26 and September 15. This is a boost for the BCCI and the IPL. The CPL was initially slated to begin on August 28 and conclude on September 19, but that was altered when the BCCI started discussions with Cricket West Indies (CWI) and the CPL shortly after identifying the September-October window for wrapping up the rest of the postponed 2021 IPL.
The CPL’s match calendar will be altered as a result of the new dates, and the problem for both CWI and CPL is that there aren’t many spare days in a busy home season that includes tours to the Caribbean by South Africa, Australia, and Pakistan.
Following the conclusion of the current series against South Africa on July 9, the West Indies will face Australia in a white-ball series that will last five T20Is and three ODIs and conclude on July 24. The Pakistan series begins three days later with a five-match T20I series, followed by two Tests, which will conclude on August 24.
The BCCI requested the CPL to move the tournament’s start date ahead for two reasons: To begin with, many players and coaching staff are associated with both IPL and CPL franchises, while the owners of two IPL franchises – the Kolkata Knight Riders and the Punjab Kings – also own clubs in the CPL, the Trinbago Knight Riders and the St Lucia Zouks. Second, the BCCI wanted the IPL-bound squad to travel from the Caribbean to the UAE sooner, where the rest of the tournament would be contested.
“Both the IPL and the CPL are essential to the CWI, our players, and our fans,” CWI president Ricky Skerritt told ESPNcricinfo. “CWI’s job was to make sure that the tournaments didn’t overlap and that the changeover was as seamless as possible. If cricket is to withstand the dangers and expenses of Covid-19, administrators must work together.”
The CPL in 2021 will include 33 games, all of which will be held at Warner Park. Pete Russell, the CPL’s chief executive officer, said in April that this edition will be accessible to the public, but that attendance would be limited to 50% of the ground capacity.
According to Skerritt, the CPL will shortly finalise the criteria for franchisees interested in participating in the bio-secure bubble. “Any bubble-related choices are taken in the context of the local Covid-19 scenario by the local St Kitts health authority and CPL medical advisers (same as CWI),” he added. “For the first time in four weeks, St Kitts recorded community spread. All cases were imported, identified, quarantined, and recovered over the course of a year. Just two days ago, the first local Covid-19-related fatality occurred.”