The remaining matches of the Indian Premier League (IPL), which was suspended earlier this month, will be completed in the United Arab Emirates in September and October, the Indian Cricket Board (BCCI) said on Saturday.
In a statement by BCCI secretary Jay Shah, ‘the move was made considering the monsoon season in India in the months of September-October this year’.
‘The decision was taken at a Special General Meeting (SGM) held virtually, where members unanimously agreed to resume IPL. The BCCI SGM further authorised the Office Bearers to seek an extension of time from the ICC to take an appropriate call on the hosting of ICC T20 World Cup 2021,’ the statement put on the BCCI website read.
The popular IPL Twenty20 tournament was suspended with 31 matches left to play on May 4 following a sudden surge of COVID-19 cases inside the league’s bio-bubble with players like KKR’S Varun Chakravathy, Sandeep Warrier and Prasidh Krishna along with SunRisers Hyderbad’s Wriddhiman Saha and Chennai Super Kings’ batting coach Michael Hussey, all testing positive for the virus amid a devastating second wave of COVID-19 in India.
India reported its lowest daily rise in new COVID-19 cases for a month on Friday but the tally remained high at 186,364 infections and 3,660 deaths.
BCCI head Sourav Ganguly said this month that COVID-19 restrictions meant it was impossible to stage the remaining games in India.
Organisers are likely to be looking to squeeze the matches into a window between the India Test tour of England, which finishes in mid-September, and the Twenty20 World Cup, which is scheduled to start in mid-October.
England cricket chief Ashley Giles has said that English players will not be available to see out the IPL if it clashes with the international calendar and it is unlikely other countries would risk their players so close to the World Cup.
That would take some of the gloss off the competition, which usually attracts the best players in the world, but the BCCI would probably be happy just to finish it off and fulfil their broadcast and sponsorship contracts.
BCCI treasurer Arun Singh Dhumal told Reuters in early May that the board was facing losses of about $270 million in revenue because of the suspension of the tournament.
The unanimous decision to resume the lucrative IPL was taken at a Special General Meeting of the BCCI, which also decided "to seek an extension of time from the ICC to take an appropriate call on the hosting of ICC T20 World Cup 2021".