'Won't stop us from completing this edition of IPL': BCCI vice-president on overseas players not being available
- With the international schedule expected to collide with the second leg of IPL 2021, it is expected that several foreign players including Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler, Pat Cummins, Steve Smith, etc., might miss out.
The remaining matches of the Indian Premier League 2021 have officially been moved to the UAE, as BCCI announced last week. But there are various other questions still to be answered - starting from the fact when is the remainder of the tournament be fit into the schedule? Will the fans be allowed into the stadiums? Will the foreign players be available to play in IPL 2021 matches?
With the international schedule expected to collide with the second leg of IPL 2021, it is expected that several foreign players including Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler, Pat Cummins, Steve Smith, etc., might miss out. But the BCCI vice-president Rajiv Shukla has asserted that completing the remainder of the season is the primary target at this point.
“We have discussed that (foreign players) issue also. Our main focus is on completing this edition of the IPL. It should not be left halfway through. So whichever foreign players are available is fine. Whoever is not available, it is not going to stop us from hosting the tournament,” Shukla told Khaleej Times.
“The Indian players are there, foreign players are there, but few foreign players will not be available. As I said, we have to complete our tournament.
“So the franchises will definitely look for other players. Whoever is available, we are going to have the tournament with them. That’s our policy," he added.
Speaking on whether the fans will be attending the matches in the UAE, Shukla said: “The only issue is about the spectators, whether they will allow the spectators or not. So we will talk to them about that. We will go by whatever UAE authorities decide."
“If they say it’s with spectators, and certain percentage of spectators, we are fine. Or if they say without spectators, that is also fine with us. There is no problem," he added.
When asked about the potential dates for IPL 2021 to resume, Shukla said: “I am already here. Now a team of BCCI office-bearers, president (Sourav Ganguly), secretary (Jay Shah) and the IPL chairman (Brijesh Patel) will be coming here in a couple of days."
“We will be having discussions with the cricket board here and the other authorities. And accordingly the schedule will be made, so the tournament happens in a very smooth manner as it happened here last year,” he added.
“Whatever, Covid protocols (on vaccination) are required, we will be following those protocols, the Indian protocols as well as the UAE protocols,” Shukla signed off.