IPL confirms schedule squeeze ahead of World Cup
Four venues in the Middle East to host a total of 76 games in just 56 days for the rescheduled IPL and 2021 T20 World Cup
26 July 2021, 07:24 AM AEST
The Indian Premier League (IPL), which was suspended in May due to COVID-19, will resume in September and finish just two days before the start of the T20 World Cup.
The Indian Cricket Board (BCCI) has confirmed the resumption of the IPL will start on September 19, just five days after the scheduled end of India's Test tour of England.
The IPL final will be played in Dubai on October 15, just 48 hours before the T20 World Cup is set to begin, also in the UAE.
A total of 31 IPL matches will be played at three venues: the Dubai International Stadium, the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi, and the Sharjah Stadium.
Those same three venues will then host the bulk of the 45 World Cup matches, although some World Cup games early in the tournament will be played at the Oman Cricket Academy Ground.
In total, the four venues are scheduled to host 76 games in just 56 days from the re-start of the IPL on September 19 until the World Cup final on November 14.
Last year, the three UAE venues hosted 60 games in 52 days for the 2020 IPL.
The final schedule for the T20 World Cup is yet to be confirmed.
Australia don't have any matches on their schedule between the end of their Bangladesh tour next month and the start of the World Cup, and it's yet to be seen if Australian players with IPL contracts will be granted leave to take part in the franchise tournament.
The 2021 IPL was suspended on May 4 after several players and backroom staff tested positive for the coronavirus amid a devastating second wave of COVID-19 in India.
The BCCI announced in May that the remaining matches would be held in the UAE, while the T20 World Cup has also been shifted from India to the UAE due to the pandemic.
The IPL will resume with the Chennai Super Kings playing the Mumbai Indians on September 19 in Dubai before the Kolkata Knight Riders face the Royal Challengers Bangalore in Abu Dhabi the following day.
Sharjah will host its first game on September 24 when Bangalore face Chennai.
The first qualifier is scheduled for October 10 in Dubai, while the eliminator (October 11) and second qualifier (October 13) will be played in Sharjah.
Dubai will also host the final, which is due to be played on October 15.
The eight-team IPL, with an estimated brand value of $US6.8 billion ($A9.2 billion), is the richest Twenty20 league and attracts many of the best players from around the world.
Sep 10-14: Fifth Test, England v India in Manchester
Sep 19 – Oct 15: IPL in the United Arab Emirates
Oct 17 – Nov 14: T20 World Cup in UAE & Oman