The fate of of the Indian Premier League (IPL 2021) currently hangs in jeopardy after it was postponed indefinitely.
IPL 2021 postponed indefinitely; tournament to resume on a later date
Earlier this month, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) had to suspend the tournament midway through the group stage after several franchises reported positive COVID-19 cases within their ranks. BCCI, on its part, strongly insists that the unprecedented break in the tournament’s schedule is indeed a postponement and not a wholesale cancellation; meaning that the current season will resume at some later date and will be completed like it was originally meant to be.
However, there’s much ambiguity around the dates and venues of this rescheduled 14th season of the IPL. Anonymous sources close to the Indian cricket board have suggested that IPL 14 will resume sometime around September 2021; taking place right before the T20 World Cup scheduled in India. Meanwhile, BCCI president Sourav Ganguly recently expressed uncertainty about rescheduling the IPL in India. As per Ganguly, the growing number of COVID cases in the country could make it potentially difficult to reorganize the IPL in home conditions.
England players won’t skip international fixtures to play the IPL
Clearly, no decision has yet been finalized by the Indian cricketing authorities over the continuity of the IPL. But several other international cricket boards seem to have already made their decisions about playing in the IPL later this year.
A few days back, Ashley Giles, the incumbent director of the England men’s cricket team; clarified that England players wouldn’t be missing out on international commitments to participate in the second half of the IPL. England are scheduled to tour Pakistan and Bangladesh in the weeks leading up to the WT20 in India. Giles made it clear that the England team prioritizes the international format over T20 leagues. Hence, should any of their limited-overs assignments clash with the IPL, England players will opt for the former pick.
New Zealand likely to prioritize tour to Pakistan over playing in the IPL
Apart from England, it seems like New Zealand players will also be prioritizing the international format over competing in the IPL. As per reports from Inside Sport, New Zealand Cricket (NZC) is in talks with Pakistan to organize a tour in early September. And if the series clashes with the revised IPL schedule; New Zealand players will almost certainly have to pick the Pakistan series over the IPL.
If the aforementioned development turns out to be true; as many as 10 Kiwi players won’t be available in the IPL. These include several first-choice IPL players like Kane Williamson (SRH), Kyle Jamieson (RCB), and Trent Boult (MI). Other New Zealand players currently involved with the IPL are Lockie Ferguson and Tim Seifert (KKR), Mitchell Santner (CSK), Adam Milne (MI), and Finn Allen and Scott Kuggeljein (RCB).