IPL 2021: BCCI confirms, England players to be available for tournament
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has secured the green light for England players to participate in the remainder of Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021, scheduled to get underway from September 19 in the UAE. It is understood that the white-ball series between England and Bangladesh will be postponed to make room for England players to head to the UAE for IPL 2021.
England were scheduled to tour Bangladesh for a 3-match ODI and T20I series in September-October and it would have clashed with IPL. However, the Bangladesh Cricket Board is looking to reschedule the white-ball series for early next year.
England players are now scheduled to leave for the UAE along with India players from the UK in the same chartered plane and have a bubble-to-bubble transfer. India and England play a 5-Test series from August 4 and it will end on September 14, 5 days before the scheduled resumption of IPL 2021. Notably, England are also scheduled to tour Pakistan for a 2-match T20I series in October 14 and 15.
The likes of Jos Buttler, Jonny Bairstow, Liam Livingstone, Sam Curran, Tom Curran are some of the big names who will be heading to the UAE. On the other hand, it remains to be seen if Ben Stokes, who has taken a mental health break, will be available to take the field for Rajasthan Royals. Notably, the World Cup-winning all-rounder had featured in only one match for the Royals before being ruled out with an injury.
IPL 2021 was held in India before it was suspended due to positive Covid-19 cases in the bio-bubbles of franchises in New Delhi and Ahmedabad in May.
While England players are likely to be part of the remainder of IPL 2021, it remains to be seen if Australia and West Indies players will join them as they have international commitments during the rescheduled IPL window. Teams will be allowed to opt for replacement players if their overseas stars don't turn up for the UAE leg of the season.