After months of doubt and despair caused due to the pandemic, it is a huge sigh of relief for cricket fans around the world, as the 2021 Indian Premier League is set to take place in the United Arab Emirates on September 19th after careful planning by the BCCI.
The board had to bypass multiple hurdles to even think of conducting an event at this scale, as it required coordination between multiple departments, boards and governments to get the approval. Other boards had to be contacted to prepone their leagues to ensure the safe bubble-to-bubble transfer of their players. The BCCI requested Cricket West Indies to prepone the Caribbean Premier League, 2021, which was scheduled from August 28th to September 19th. The CWI honoured their request and rescheduled the tournament from August 25th to September 15th to avoid the clash of schedules between the CPL and IPL. This move facilitated the smooth transfers of IPL bound players from the Caribbean nations.
New Zealand's tour of Pakistan clashed with the second leg of the tournament, causing yet another problem for the BCCI, but this was resolved as the NZC (New Zealand Cricket) cleared their players to participate in the IPL despite the clash of schedules. The postponement of England's tour of Bangladesh was yet another blessing for the board, as this cleared the way for English players to participate despite a couple of big names like Jonny Bairstow, Chris Woakes and Dawid Malan dropping out later.
The decisive action that was taken by the BCCI, along with cooperation from other boards and a gentle blessing from Lady Luck, helped solve the availability problem of foreign players for the IPL 2021.
Eight teams are ready to battle it out to be crowned champion in this year's edition of the IPL. The fixtures and resumption of the tournament in a bio-bubble condition will not only test the player's physical mettle but also their mental resolve. This would be one of the most exciting yet difficult finishes to the tournament with the various challenges posed to the players, teams and the authorities conducting the tournament.
IPL 2021 is set to take place across three venues, namely Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Sharjah. The biggest news comes in the form of the board allowing fans into the stadium, giving the teams an additional boost that they desperately lacked in the first leg. Fans have witnessed legendary innings like Sachin Tendulkar's desert storm masterclass at Sharjah and will be looking forward to the best players in the world strutting their stuff.
The league phase of the tournament is set to run until October 8th, followed by the first qualifier on October 10th, the eliminator on the 11th, and the second qualifier on the 13th. The finals are set to take place on October 15th, two days before the scheduled start of the ICC Men's T20 World Cup, giving the players little time to recuperate before joining their national teams.
The fixtures have given us the chance to see a couple of belters with juicy matchups all around the table. Here are the complete fixtures for the second leg of IPL 2021.
|30||Mumbai Indians vs Chennai Super Kings||19 September, Sunday||7:30 PM||Dubai|
|32||Punjab Kings vs Rajasthan Royals||21 September, Tuesday||7:30 PM||Dubai|
|34||Mumbai Indians vs Kolkata Knight Riders||23 September, Thursday||7:30 PM||Abu Dhabi|
|35||Royal Challengers Bangalore vs Chennai Super Kings||24 September, Friday||7:30 PM||Sharjah|
|36||Delhi Capitals vs Rajasthan Royals||25 September, Saturday||3:30 PM||Abu Dhabi|
|39||Royal Challengers Bangalore vs Mumbai Indians||26 September, Sunday||7:30 PM||Dubai|
|40||Sunrisers Hyderabad vs Rajasthan Royals||27 September, Monday||7:30 PM||Dubai|
|41||Kolkata Knight Riders vs Delhi Capitals||28 September, Tuesday||3:30 PM||Sharjah|
|42||Mumbai Indians vs Punjab Kings||28 September, Tuesday||7:30 PM||Abu Dhabi|
|43||Rajasthan Royals vs Royal Challengers Bangalore||29 September, Wednesday||7:30 PM||Dubai|
|44||Sunrisers Hyderabad vs Chennai Super Kings||30 September, Thursday||7:30 PM||Sharjah|
|45||Kolkata Knight Riders vs Punjab Kings||1 October, Friday||7:30 PM||Dubai|
|46||Mumbai Indians vs Delhi Capitals||2 October, Saturday||3:30 PM||Sharjah|
|47||Rajasthan Royals vs Chennai Super Kings||2 October, Saturday||7:30 PM||Abu Dhabi|
|48||Royal Challengers Bangalore vs Punjab Kings||3 October, Sunday||3:30 PM||Sharjah|
|49||Kolkata Knight Riders vs Sunrisers Hyderabad||3 October, Sunday||7:30 PM||Dubai|
|50||Delhi Capitals vs Chennai Super Kings||4 October, Monday||7:30 PM||Dubai|
|52||Royal Challengers Bangalore vs Sunrisers Hyderabad||6 October, Wednesday||7:30 PM||Abu Dhabi|
|53||Chennai Super Kings vs Punjab Kings||7 October, Thursday||3:30 PM||Dubai|
|54||Kolkata Knight Riders vs Rajasthan Royals||7 October, Thursday||7:30 PM||Sharjah|
|55||Sunrisers Hyderabad vs Mumbai Indians||8 October, Friday||3:30 PM||Abu Dhabi|
|56||Royal Challengers Bangalore vs Delhi Capitals||8 October, Friday||7:30 PM||Dubai|