Virat Kohli, Jay Shah
Virat Kohli, Jay Shah. Image Credits: Twitter

Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) secretary Jay Shah expressed his gratitude to all the state association members for its support and contribution in helping IPL 2021 take place despite COVID-19 pandemic interruptions.

IPL 2021 was initially staged in India but the tournament had to be immediately suspended in the mid-way because of the rising COVID-19 cases in India.

Only BCCI and Its State Associations know the effort in completing IPL 2021: Jay Shah

The BCCI decided to shift the tournament in the September-October window in the United Arab Emirates where the entire season took place last year.

Shah talked about how the board had to face difficulties to make sure all the operations were met to conduct the IPL and later how they had to move it to UAE.

“It is with great delight that I write this letter to you. The second phase of the Indian Premier League is entering its business end and as always, there is an intense battle to qualify for the playoff stage. To the outside world, this may appear as an exact repeat of last year when the BCCI hosted the 13th season of the IPL in the UAE.  However, only the BCCI and Its State Associations know the effort that has gone behind in completing the 14th season of the IPL. When everything finally seemed alright, we were hit by a curveball. A spate of Covid 19 cases meant that IPL had to be suspended temporarily. All of us had pulled through together to ensure IPL’s return to India, its original home,” Shah wrote in his letter to all state associations, as reported by news agency ANI.

BCCI Secretary Jay Shah
BCCI Secretary Jay Shah (Image Credit: Twitter)

“While we never ruled out the possibility of someone testing positive midway through the league, we had done our best to tighten all loose ends. Despite the stringent measures put in place, the bio bubble was breached by the virus forcing us to suspend the league keeping everyone’s health and safety on priority,” the letter further added. 

Second phase of IPL appears as a blessing in disguise for Team India: Jay Shah

On September 8, the BCCI announced a 15-member preliminary squad led by Virat Kohli to participate in the ICC T20 World Cup 2021 in UAE just after the completion of IPL 2021. Shah said that all the players will have good preparation in the cash-rich league and invited the state board members to attend the playoffs stage in UAE.

“We reached out to all the Boards, secured necessary permissions, worked closely with the UAE Government and the Emirates Cricket Board. The window just before the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup was identified and immediately locked in. In hindsight, this appears as a blessing in disguise as with the T20 World Cup taking place soon after, there cannot be a better preparatory ground than a tournament of IPL’s stature,” Shah mentioned.

BCCI chief Sourav Ganguly and secretary Jay Shah
BCCI chief Sourav Ganguly and secretary Jay Shah with the T20 WC trophy. (Image Credit: Twitter)

“I am confident that the second phase of the IPL will provide ideal preparation ahead of the World Cup and will prepare Team India in the best possible manner. As we now start our countdown to the playoff stage and the big IPL final, I certainly wish to see all of you in attendance,” he added.

IPL 2021 playoffs will start on October 10 and the final will be played on October 15 at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium.

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