The Indian Premier League (IPL) franchisees are in hot water following uncertainty about the availability of foreign players for the upcoming phase two of the 2021 IPL. The league is scheduled to be held in the UAE from September 19 to October 15.
BCCI had earlier set a deadline of August 20 for the submission of the squads. However, the apex board only recently confirmed that the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) and Cricket Australia (CA) have made their players available for the marquee league.
It also stated that the players will be the ones to take a final call on whether they want to be part of the IPL 2021 or not. So far, only Chennai Super Kings (CSK) has confirmed its squad.
“We have to submit the squad by August 20 but I can’t confirm whether all foreign players will be available. We are still in talks with some players.”
“The good thing is that the T20 World Cup will be held in UAE and that gives us confidence that all players will be available but we are still waiting on some players’ final confirmation,” a franchise official revealed to InsideSport.
“BCCI’s delay in responding officially did play a part in last-minute hassle” – The franchise official on deciding final IPL 2021 squad
Although England skipper Eoin Morgan has made himself available, other batting mainstays including Jos Buttler and Ben Stokes have kept mum on their status.
Both the players are in England’s sights for the all-important Ashes series later this year. They would want to give themselves a bit of breathing room and so their availability remains unconfirmed as of now. Nevertheless, if the deadline isn’t extended, the official confirmed that they will stick to the rules.
“Yes, BCCI’s delay in responding officially did play a part in last-minute hassle. We kept hearing about players’ availability in the news but BCCI only confirmed that officially in August. That’s why the August 20 deadline is a little early for us. But if that’s the norm, we will adhere to that,” he said.
IPL 2021 will resume in the UAE from next month, with the first match set to be played between CSK and Mumbai Indians (MI) at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium.