- The schedule of the 2nd phase of IPL 2021 has cramped the schedule for Indian cricketers
- Starting with the England Test series, most Indian players will play non-stop cricket for 3.5 months
- There’s little to no space between series schedules which will be incredibly challenging for the players
The Covid-19 pandemic has been a huge headache for cricketing boards, with tournaments being rescheduled one after the other. The postponement of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 forced the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to schedule Phase-2 of the league in September-October. Now, the Indian cricketers stare at an extremely gruelling schedule with virtually no breaks in between.
The Indian cricket team resumes its international duties with the ICC World Test Championship final against New Zealand on June 18. After the completion of the match, the players will get a 20-day break during which they will remain in England. What follows the break, however, is non-stop cricketing action
India vs England Test series (August 04 to September 14)
One of India’s biggest cricketing challenges of the year will begin on August 04 in Nottingham. Two of the remaining four Tests will be held in London, while the other two will be in Leeds and Manchester.
Earlier, Team India had a fairly relaxed schedule after the England Test series, with only a limited-overs assignment against South Africa scheduled before the T20 World Cup. Now, that series has been replaced by the second phase of IPL 2021.
IPL Season 14 Phase-2 (September 19 to October 15)
The outbreak of Covid-19 within the Team India camp forced the BCCI to suspend the Season 14 of the league after 29 games. The remaining 31 games will now be held in September-October under the scorching heat of the UAE.
The BCCI had earlier planned to conclude the league on October 10 but decided against having as many doubleheaders as earlier planned due to hot and humid conditions and instead stretch the league till October 15.
With the T20 World Cup also likely to be held in UAE, the situation allowed the BCCI to finalise such a schedule.
T20 World Cup 2021 (October 18 to November 15 – Tentative)
Though an official schedule hasn’t been released by the ICC yet, the T20 World Cup will is expected to kick off on October 18. That gives the IPL players only two days to recover before the showpiece event kicks off.
BCCI vice-president Rajeev Shukla was asked about such a small gap between the two high-profile tournaments, to which he said: “There should be no problem with the gap. The first phase of the T20 World Cup will comprise qualifiers [according to BCCI’s knowledge]. So the main teams like India and others will get sufficient gaps,” said Shukla.
The non-Test playing nations could be made to play the T20 World Cup matches first, giving the IPL players a few more days’ rest before the event begins.
Nevertheless, starting August, Indian cricketers have one of the busiest schedules they have ever been a part of.