The 2021 Indian Premier League got off to a flyer on the 9th of April with plenty of great cricket to keep us thoroughly entertained, but as May rolled around, the pandemic was getting worse across India and there were calls for the BCCI to suspend the tournament. The BCCI decided against it at first, but when the players started becoming affected by it, they relented, and the tournament was postponed on the 4th of May.
IPL 2021 Resumption
We all had to wait patiently for news about when the 2021 Indian Premier League would resume, and the news that everyone was waiting for was released by the BCCI at the beginning of June. First of all, they declared that the tournament would not be completed in India and that it would be played in the United Arab Emirates instead. This is because they believe that it is safer for the players to play in the UAE than it is to play in India.
They then announced that the first game of this second phase of the IPL will resume in the UAE on September 19th, with the final taking place on the 15th of October. The BCCI and the Emirates Cricket Board (ECB) had long talks, and both are very confident that the rest of the games will be able to be played without any more delays. They will have a 27-day window to fit in the remaining 31 games, and they will play two games on one day if need be. This will obviously have a negative impact on the viewership numbers, but there is not a lot that can be done about that. On a brighter note, it is hoped that some type of attendance will be available for the remaining matches.
What about the availability of foreign players? Well, the BCCI have already been asked about this and they are in talks with the cricketing boards of other countries and are expecting a positive outcome. If some of the overseas players cannot make it because of other commitments, then they will decide on a suitable course of action. However, at this moment in time, they are preparing for a full house, more or less, and an action-packed end to the 2021 Indian Premier League.
The BCCI is also working very closely with the International Cricket Council (ICC) to ensure that none of the T20 World Cup in 2021 preparations, which is also meant to take place in India, are impacted. While it is scheduled to be played in India, it is highly likely that it will also be moved to the UAE. This is not the ideal scenario, but it is much better than having to cancel it again and have it played somewhere else.
We Are All Excited for Its Conclusion
The first 30 matches of the 2021 Indian Premier League were a joy to behold. There is yet to be one single match that has bored those who have been watching, which is one of the beautiful things about T20 cricket. Let us have a brief recap of some of the wonderful things that happened in the first half of the tournament.
With regard to batting performances, there have been some that will stick in our memories for a long time to come. For instance, nobody, especially those who had money on it at IPL betting sites, will be able to forget Jos Buttler’s stunning 124 runs from 64 balls that he smashed against the Sunrisers Hyderabad. There was also Sanju Samson’s brutal 119 from 63 balls versus the Punjab Kings, while Mayank Agarwal hit 99* from 58 balls in a match against the Rajasthan Royals.
When it comes to bowling figures, there have been some fantastic performances for us to enjoy so far in this competition. For example, Andre Russel bowled two overs versus the Mumbai Indians and collected 5 wickets for only 15 runs. Deepak Chahar also put the Punjab Kings batting lineup to the sword when he collected 4 wickets for just 13 runs. Then there was Shabaz Ahmed, who in two overs against the Sunrisers Hyderabad picked up 3 wickets for just 7 runs. Many people tune in to watch the IPL see it rain fours and sixes, but it is just as entertaining to watch a bowler show off all of his tricks.
There has been plenty of big-hitting for us to enjoy as can be seen from the eight scores of 200 or more and the eight scores of 180-200. To add to this, there have been three games where the total runs scored added up to more than 400, with two of these games including the Chennai Super Kings.
So, it is clear that the first half of the competition provided us with a lot of entertainment, and we are pretty certain that the second half is going to provide us with plenty more. In fact, since it is the business end of the tournament, we will probably get even more excitement, and cricket fans all over the world will be waiting eagerly for it to restart again. We just hope that all of the overseas players will be able to join too as there is no doubt that the tournament would be worse off without them. We really cannot wait for September to roll around, so we can finally see who will lift the IPL trophy on the 15th of October.