The United Arab Emirates will have a postponed stage of the Indian Premier League at the end of 2021
United Arab Emirates are now on the verge of hosting delayed Indian Premier League in late 2021 – as players from England take final flight from Covid-stricken Delhi
- The UAE is on standby to host the recently postponed Indian Premier League
- Opportunities are being discussed to close out the lucrative Twenty20 competition
- The majority of the English contingent left behind at the IPL was hastily arranging their journey home on Tuesday
- Jonny Bairstow and Jason Roy were among those who secured international flights from Delhi
The delayed Indian Premier League could resume in the United Arab Emirates later this year.
Within hours of being pulled the plug on the lucrative Twenty20 competition due to an escalation of Covid-19 cases in the tournament’s bio-safe bubble, talk was going on about where the remaining matches would be put in a full 2021 calendar .
As England’s 11 remaining IPL players rushed to return home on flights to London, whispers came over the match being completed in the UK immediately after India’s tour of India here this summer. However, the UAE is a much more likely destination if it wants to leave India for security reasons.
The delayed Indian Premier League could resume in the United Arab Emirates later this year
As Sportsmail revealed last month that the Emirates will be the stand-by venue for the Twenty20 World Cup in 16 countries in October-November should the ICC decide India is unsatisfactory.
And the value of completing the IPL in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah from the end of September would be that the world’s best T20 players would be in position and ready for the global event.
Unlike India – which recently unveiled nine host cities for the T20 World Cup – playing in the UAE would eliminate air travel between matches, reducing the risk of Covid being contracted by outside team environments.
However, such a solution would not be without its headaches for the ECB, which promised the BCCI that their centrally contracted players would participate in the full IPL this year.
Jonny Bairstow was among a number of stars who have secured international flights from Delhi
As of mid-September, England are on the verge of warming up for their bid to become two-time White Ball World Champions with short trips to Bangladesh and Pakistan. England’s leading cricketers cannot be in two places at once, so something will have to give in.
Most of the English contingent that had left the IPL was hastily arranging their journey home on Tuesday, with the first expected to land at Heathrow at 7:30 a.m. on Wednesday.
World Cup winners Jonny Bairstow and Jason Roy were among those who secured international flights from Delhi, which would host Sunrisers Hyderabad’s match against Chennai on Tuesday before the tournament was dropped in the wake of multiple positive coronavirus cases across the eight franchises.
League bosses confirmed outbreaks on three of them, but there were rumors about others when Brijesh Patel, the IPL chairman, announced the ‘unanimous’ decision.
The Chennai players were told on Monday to isolate themselves in their hotel rooms for five days after their bowling coach Lakshmipathy Balaji and one of the Super Kings employees became infected in the biosecure bubble.
There are also concerns about the Twenty20 World Cup with growing Covid-19 cases in India
However, Sam Curran and Moeen Ali were allowed to travel hours later, while Delhi trio Sam Billings, Chris Woakes and Tom Curran were in transit from Ahmedabad to Mumbai on Tuesday afternoon for their international flights.
Passengers are allowed to board British aircraft after a negative PCR test, but must be quarantined for 10 days after arriving at a government-designated hotel due to India’s place on the UK’s ‘red list’ of Covid countries. There are no exemptions for top athletes.
Last weekend, India became the first country to register more than 400,000 new cases in a single day, registering the highest daily death toll at 3,689. But it was not until the IPL bubbles of Chennai, Kolkata and Hyderabad broke that definitive action was taken.
“The BCCI does not want to compromise on the safety of the players, support staff and other participants involved in the organization of the IPL,” said a statement.
Jofra Archer, who missed the IPL after surgery on his hand due to a cut sustained while emptying his tank, made his return to Sussex 2nds on Tuesday.
The English man (left) hit three fours and two sixes as he raced to 35 from 46 balls in just 45 minutes against Surrey 2nds in Hove.
Archer will likely test his sore elbow on Wednesday by bowling.
Additional reporting: Daniel Matthews