CPL 2021 schedule tweaked to avoid clash with remainder of IPL 2021 in UAE
“Cricket administrators must collaborate if cricket is to survive the risks and costs of Covid-19,” says Ricky Skerritt
The revised dates will mean a tweaked match schedule for the CPL, and the challenge for both CWI and CPL is that there aren’t many free days in a packed home season comprising tours of the Caribbean by South Africa, Australia and Pakistan.
Immediately after the ongoing series against South Africa, which ends on July 9, West Indies play a white-ball series comprising five T20Is and three ODIs against Australia, which will end on July 24. Three days later, the Pakistan series kicks off with a five-match T20I series followed by two Tests, scheduled to end on August 24.
The BCCI wanted the CPL to bring forward the start of the tournament for two key reasons: Firstly, there are several players as well as coaching staff that are involved with both IPL and CPL franchises, and also, the owners of two of the IPL franchises – the Kolkata Knight Riders and the Punjab Kings – own teams in the CPL too – the Trinbago Knight Riders and the St Lucia Zouks respectively. Secondly, the BCCI wanted the IPL-bound contingent to move sooner from the Caribbean to the UAE, where the remainder of the IPL will be played.
“Both IPL and CPL are important to CWI, to our cricketers and to fans,” Ricky Skerritt, the CWI president, told ESPNcricinfo. “CWI’s role was to facilitate arrangements for a non-overlapping and smooth transition from one tournament to the next. Cricket administrators must collaborate if cricket is to survive the risks and costs of Covid-19.”
Skerritt explained that the CPL would also soon be finalising the guidelines for the franchises to be part of the bio-secure bubble. “Any bubble-related decisions are made by the local St Kitts health authorities and CPL medical advisors (same as CWI), in the context of the local Covid-19 situation,” he said. “Just four weeks ago, St Kitts recorded community spread for the first time. For over a year, all cases were imported, identified, quarantined, and recovered. The first local Covid-19 (related) death happened just two days ago.”
Nagraj Gollapudi is news editor at ESPNcricinfo