A group of English county cricket clubs have offered to host the remainder of Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 after the tournament was suspended on May 03. These counties have written to the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB), requesting it to invite the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to conduct the remaining matches in their respective grounds in the United Kingdom.
The fourteenth season of the cash-rich league was postponed due to multiple positive cases for Covid-19 inside the bio-bubble of different franchises in India.
According to ESPNcricinfo, the four counties – MCC, Surrey, Warwickshire, and Lancashire – have offered to host the IPL matches and complete it in two weeks in the second half of September. MCC is based at Lords, while the Surrey is at The Kia Oval; both the grounds are situated in London.
On the other hand, Warwickshire’s home ground is Edgbaston in Birmingham, and Lancashire is based at Old Trafford in Manchester.
India is also supposed to host the T20 World Cup in October, but given the current situation in the country, the mega event is likely to be shifted from India and most possibly to occur in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
The BCCI is exploring the window to stage the IPL remainder in the gulf country, however, the counties have raised a point worthy of consideration. As per these clubs, if the remaining matches of IPL occur in England, it would help top players play high-quality cricket when they travel to UAE for the upcoming T20 World Cup as the pitches there will stay fresh ahead of the international tournament.
In June, the Indian cricket team is expected to tour England for a five-match Test series, and there is also the ICC World Test Championship (WTC) final against New Zealand. In such circumstances, the Indian players may finish the Test series against England, followed by the completion of IPL and then fly straight to UAE for the T20 World Cup.