IPL Will Resume With CSK vs. Mumbai Indians On Sep 19
There are a lot of cricket fans around the world who are not aware that the 2021 IPL will resume from Sep 19. The 2021 IPL, which usually takes place from April to June, was suspended midway after the bubble was breached and multiple players tested positive.
The BCCI did a great job working together with different boards and the ICC to schedule a window from Sep 19 to Oct 15 in the United Arab Emirates. Like the 2020 IPL, Dubai, Sharjah, and Abu Dhabi will play host to the IPL.
Controversy In Lead Up To 2021 IPL
The Indian cricket team pulled out of the fifth and final test against England as multiple members in the Indian contingent, including head coach Ravi Shastri, tested positive for COVID-19. The BCCI informed the England and Wales Cricket (ECB) board only 90 minutes before the toss that the Indian team would not be taking the field.
It left a bitter taste in the mouth of the ECB, the players, and the fans. Ex-captain Michael Vaughn had lashed out at India for cancelling the test, saying they did it to protect themselves from getting COVID before the IPL resumed.
Vaughn pointed out that the Indian team would have had to quarantine in the UAE for 6 days, and with the IPL starting in 7 days, it did not come as a surprise to see India pulling out of the final test as the IPL was given more preference.
Former captain Michael Atherton said a combination of player power, COVID-19, and the 2021 IPL combined to cancel the fifth and final test, with the series poised at 2-1 in India’s favour. Since the Indian players were not keen on taking the field in the fifth test and putting themselves at risk to contract COVID-19 and not play the IPL.
Multiple Players Pull Out Of 2021 IPL
Several English players have decided to opt-out of the 2021 IPL. So far, Jos Butler, J Bairstow, C Woakes, and D Malan have withdrawn. Reports suggest that they don’t want to put themselves through another IPL bubble, but there is a possibility that India pulling out of the fifth test might have impacted their decision in some way.
Several international players from other countries have also confirmed they will not participate in the second half of the IPL. Aussies Pat Cummins, Jhye Richardson, Riley Meredith, and Adam Zampa have all withdrawn from the IPL.
IPL franchises have been quick to sign other international players as there is no shortage of foreign players keen to fly down to the UAE and pick up a good cheque. Some of the replacements coming in are Glenn Phillips, Adil Rashid, Oshane Thomas, Evin Lewish, T Shamsi, D Chameera, and W Hasaranga.
CSK vs. Mumbai Indians
The first game that will see the resumption of the 2021 IPL will see defending champions Mumbai Indians take on the Chennai Super Kings (CSK). The match will take place on Sep 19, and it will be interesting to see how CSK plays in the UAE.
CSK had a terrible time in the UAE during the 2020 IPL and was eliminated before the playoffs. Last year was the first in IPL history that CSK did not qualify for the playoffs. Bookmakers did not have CSK as part of their top three teams to win the 2021 IPL Championship.
However, CSK had a great run when the IPL was taking place in India and currently sit in second place on the IPL points table. CSK have played 7 games and won 5 of them. Mumbai Indians who were one of the top favorites selected to win the 2021 IPL did not have a good run in India.
Mumbai currently sit in fourth place on the IPL points table. They played 7 games and won just 4. We will need to wait and see if this break will be beneficial for the defending champions who can shrug of their three losses and once again make a push to win their fifth IPL championship.
All Eyes On MS Dhoni
CSK did not want the IPL to stop as they were on a roll and looked like they could be any time. Will the break have a negative impact on their performance or will they be able to continue where the left off. All eyes will be on CSK captain MS Dhoni who was recently appointed as team mentor for India during the 2021 ICC T20 World Cup.
We think the Mumbai Indians will win their game against CSK as they have been dominant in the UAE.