Rajeev Shukla: Unavailability of overseas players will not affect IPL 2021

The new dates for the resumption of IPL 2021 are not announced but the tournament is definitely going to take place in UAE during September- October. However, there are still large questions looming around the availability of overseas players due to the jampacked schedule in 2021. 

BCCI remains adamant that the tournament will certainly be concluded before the T-20 World Cup. The Indian cricket board will reportedly conclude IPL 2021 in UAE between September 17 and October 11. BCCI Vice- President Rajiv Shukla told Khaleej Times that IPL 2021 will carry forward even in the absence of overseas players. IPL 2021 was indefinitely suspended on May 4 after multiple COVID cases were reported in the bio bubble of four teams.

“We have discussed that (availability of foreign players) issue also. Our main focus is on completing this edition of the IPL. It should not be left half way through. So whichever foreign players are available is fine. Whoever is not available, it is not going to stop us from hosting the tournament.”

Shukla acknowledged that there’s a possible chance that some international players won’t be able to participate but this won’t affect the completion of the tournament. He insisted that franchises will be looking at replacements in case few of their overseas players are not able to participate in the tournament. Shukla is right now in Dubai with BCCI president Sourav Ganguly, secretary Jay Shah, and IPL Chairman Brijesh Patel to hold talks with UAE officials to finalize plans for the tournament.

As of now, England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has confirmed that English players will not play in the remaining games of IPL 2021 due to a tight schedule. Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) will also not give NOCs to Shakib Al Hasan and Mustafizur Rahman for IPL 2021. Meanwhile, Cricket Australia will soon hold discussions to get clarity on this situation. Since multiple bilateral series are taking place at that time, many overseas players might not feature in the second half of IPL 2021.

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