The ongoing second phase of the Indian Premier League (IPL) will prepare the Men in Blue in the best possible manner for the upcoming T20 World Cup, said Jay Shah, Secretary, Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).
The Secretary has also invited presidents and secretaries of the state associations to attend Qualifier 2 and the final of the IPL 2021. Shah highlighted the challenges the board faced in hosting IPL 2021 in two halves.
“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,” Shah wrote in his letter to all state associations, which has been accessed by ANI.
“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,” Jay Shah said.
Further talking about the challenges, Shah said: “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 BCCI has always stood shoulder to shoulder with its stakeholders, and we breathed easy only when all the players, support staff and match officials reached their respective destinations. It was during this challenging phase when some of you reached out to me and expressed confidence in completing the unfinished business. This certainly boosted my confidence and that of my colleagues in the Board and we soon began our operation of identifying a suitable window,” Jay Shah added.
The BCCI secretary then talked about how the second phase of IPL will serve as perfect preparation for Team India for the upcoming T20 World Cup.
“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,” said Shah.
“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.