IPL 2021 Phase 2 – UAE Flights Suspension: BCCI & Franchises preparations for IPL 2021 phase 2 in UAE has hit another roadblock. Reason, the authorities of UAE has announced further extension on suspension of flights from India until July 21. In a Notice Issued to Airmen (NOTAM), the country’s General Civil Aviation Authority said flights from 13 countries including India will remain suspended until 23:59 hrs of July 21. This means franchises and BCCI officials who were planning to travel to UAE for finalization of logistics will have to postpone their plans.
The BCCI is due to host the remaining 31 matches of IPL in UAE in September. Some franchises were planning to fly to UAE to finalize the logistics post-July 6. However, they could not get a go-ahead from BCCI. The extension on flight suspension has added to their woes.
IPL 2021: Many franchises are concerned that bulk booking will become an issue in the coming days as the borders will be open for travel & Dubai Expo 2021 is scheduled at the same time.
“Unlike last year, bulk bookings won’t be as easy this year as you will have people travelling into the country and that makes the work around bio-bubbles all the more critical,” a franchise official was quoted by ANI as saying.
The franchises will now have to seek special permission to travel to UAE. According to the NOTAM business and charter flights could continue to operate.
IPL 2021: Light in darkness for the franchises
While logistical challenges continue to haunt the IPL franchises, the availability of New Zealand players will give them some relief. According to a Cricket.com report, a franchise official confirmed the availability of BlackCaps during the September 19 to October 15 IPL Phase 2 window.
It means Kane Williamson, Kyle Jamieson, Trent Boult amongst eight Kiwi cricketers will join their respective franchises.
“We are much relieved now. BCCI are in talks with English and Australian boards to come to a consensus regarding this. Given April and May are earmarked for the IPL, they are right to raise their own objections, but we are now confirmed to witness New Zealand players in action,” one of the franchise officials told Cricket.com
However, with BlackCaps playing Pakistan during the same window, some players might need to choose between national commitment and IPL duty.