With COVID-19 hitting IPL mid-season getting through the camps of various franchises infecting the likes of Varun Chakravarthy, Amit Mishra, Tom Latham, and a few more, the season was stopped right then and there, and all players were sent back to home. With covid getting even through such strict bio-secure bubbles, there was fear and debates about how safe the biosecure bubble was, the future of the rest of the IPL seemed dim. It seemed as if this tournament might not be completed with several international series and tournaments scheduled in the rest of the year, however, the BCCI was quick enough to find a window and arrange everything for the rest of the IPL matches to be completed, changing its venue to the UAE for the rest of the 31 matches.
The rest of the matches are scheduled to start from 19th September 2021 with the first match being the El Classico of IPL, CSK vs MI. The finals of the IPL2021 will be played on 15 October 2021. With the season not far away, teams have started to set up their camps to prepare for the season, keeping in mind all covid protocols.
With uncertainty about travel from India to UAE, most of the teams are relying on using chartered planes for transport. This would also help them from keeping all their players away from the crowd and prevent any sort of COVID outbreak in their camp to not only protect their players but also protect their IPL campaigns. A few franchises including CSK and MI have already reached UAE to set up their camp and start preparations.
The remaining matches of the IPL are scheduled to be held in the UAE in the hope of a safer environment and stricter biosecure bubbles. The BCCI has laid down strict principles that must be followed by everyone who is a part of the biosecure bubble. It has released a 46-page advisory for all the staff members and players and asked them to follow these. A few of those rules and advisories include the following –
1. A total of 14 biosecure bubbles will be setup
– 8 for franchises
– 3 for match officials and match management team
– 3 for broadcast commentators and crew
2. All franchises need to quarantine for 6 days inside their hotels before entering the bubble
3. All members of a bubble need to travel only through dedicated vehicles from the fleet of cars and buses prescribed by the BCCI
4. Direct bubble to bubble transfers will be permitted which means that all players who are part of any other biosecure bubble of any other league/series for example IND vs ENG/ CPL won’t need to go through the mandatory quarantine period.
The tournament would be completed on 3 different venues which are the same as that for the season of 2020. The matches will be played in Dubai, Sharjah, and Abu Dhabi with the first match being played in Dubai. All in all 13 matches will be held in Dubai, 10 in Sharjah and 8 in Abu Dhabi
Before the IPL resumes, it is very essential to take a glance at the points table. DC is currently leading the table followed by CSK, RCB and MI respectively currently being in the top 4.