The coronavirus pandemic has created a huge impact on cricket throughout the world. Cricket had resumed in England after 3 months in a bio-secure environment. Because of the rising numbers of COVID-19 cases in India, it took a long time for the country to restart their cricket.
That’s the reason why IPL 2020 was shifted to UAE.
Earlier BCCI had signed an MOU with Emirates cricket board stating that if things don’t become better in India then IPL 2021 and England series can be hosted in UAE. But now, since the vaccine has been rolled out and cases have started to gradually decrease, India is in a stable condition to host international matches as well as the IPL.
After a gap of 11 months, international cricket is finally back in India. India is hosting England for a full-fledged series of 4 tests, 5 T20I’s and 3 ODI’s.
IPL 2021 is also lined-up in India from April 11th (tentative).
IPL finally returns to India as BCCI confirmed that IPL will mostly be held in India and there are no back-up options planned so far. BCCI treasurer Arun Dhumal said- “We are working on having the IPL in India and we are hopeful that we would be able to organize it. We are not even thinking of a back-up also at this point in time, we are wanting to do it here. India is probably safer than UAE at this point. Hopefully, the situation remains stable and keep improving and we will have it here.”
Preparations before the start of cricket season in India
Before starting the England vs India series, the BCCI had organized a domestic T20 tournament – Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy in a bio-secure environment. This tournament was held from 10th January to 31st January across 7 venues in India.
The England Vs India series will also be played in a bio secure bubble where the players have to undergo 6 days of quarantine to get into the bubble. BCCI is also working with the government to get the players vaccinated “It is tough but at least this way we are getting to play. We are working on getting our players vaccinated. The government’s directive is that frontline workers and the most vulnerable will be the first to get vaccinated, but we are in touch with the government to get our players vaccinated,” – said Arun Dhumal
Will the fans be allowed in the stands for the England series and IPL?
BCCI has spoken with the state government and Tamil Nadu Cricket Association to allow at least 50% of the crowd from the 2nd match held at Chepauk. Also 50% fans will also be allowed in Motera stadium, Ahmedabad for the 3rd and 4th match.
The IPL is likely to be hosted in Maharashtra where there are three stadiums in Mumbai (Including Wankhade) and one stadium in Pune. The play-offs will be held in Ahmedabad Motera Stadium. Full capacity crowd could be allowed in the stadiums for all the IPL matches. If stadiums are not full, fans will still be able to watch and bet online on any of the 2021 IPL matches.
Will be ready to host the ICC T20 World Cup 2021?
After successfully hosting the IPL season and playing bilateral series against various countries, India will be well prepared to host 12 cricket nations for the ICC T20 World Cup 2021. Hopefully all the players and respective boards corporate with India and help in the smooth conduct of the tournament.