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IPL 2021: English counties wish to host remainder of tournament in September, write to ECB

New Delhi, May 6: As the BCCI contemplates hosting the remainder of the IPL 2021 in the month of September before the upcoming T20 World Cup, the English cricket counties have expressed their desire to host the cash-rich tournament.

As per an ESPNCricinfo report, "The MCC, Surrey, Warwickshire and Lancashire, who are based at Lord's, The Kia Oval (both London), Edgbaston (Birmingham) and Emirates Old Trafford (Manchester) respectively are understood to be part of the group who wrote to the ECB inviting them to extend the opportunity to the BCCI. The plans would see the tournament completed in around two weeks in the second half of September."

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The matter is likely to come up at a virtual ICC meeting of the national chief executives scheduled for Thursday (May 6).

The counties are of the opinion that hosting the remainder of the IPL 2021 would help top players to high-quality cricket heading into the T20 World Cup. The move would also ensure that pitches in the UAE - where the T20 World Cup could be played if it is moved from India - are fresh ahead of the global tournament. It might also broaden the UK market for the IPL. However, organising the tournament in England hasn't crossed the minds of BCCI officials in the latest meeting.

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The BCCI on May 4 announced suspension of the fourteenth edition of the cash-rich IPL as the second wave of COVID-19 breached the bio-bubble and infected the players and support staff. The BCCI was forced to stop the domestic T20 tournament halfway through and send all the players to their respective homes.

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But the board has cleared that it wishes to complete the tournament once the conditions become favourable. A BCCI official was quoted by ANI as saying, "Why not? If the foreign players are available and the COVID-19 situation is in control, we can definitely look at that window before the T20 WC. It can in fact act as a good preparation ground for the showpiece event."

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Asked about the situation with regards to the return of the foreign players who were part of the league, the official said: "As mentioned by BCCI earlier as well, it shall be ensured that all the players reach home safely. Planning is on and a clear picture will be out by tomorrow on their travel routes."

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Story first published: Thursday, May 6, 2021, 18:19 [IST]
Other articles published on May 6, 2021