CPL 2021: Schedule tweaked to free players for remainder of Indian T20 League
With the concluding part of the 2021 Indian T20 League to be played in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in mind, the dates for the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) have been altered.
The tournament will now be played between August 26 and September 15 with all 33 games set to be staged at the Warner Park in St Kitts and Nevis.
"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."
The CPL was originally scheduled to commence from August 28 and finish on September 19. However, as per the reports, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) requested Cricket West Indies (CWI) and the CPL governing body to tweak their schedule to avoid clashing with the postponed Indian T20 League, which will be held in September-October.
Along with West Indies cricketers, several coaching and support staff are also involved with the CPL. Hence, it is understandable that the BCCI was pushing for the Caribbean T20 to start and finish at the earliest date possible.
Interestingly, the owners of Team Kolkata and Team Punjab also own CPL franchises Trinbago Knight Riders and St Lucia Zouks respectively. Given the close connection between the two leagues, the BCCI reportedly wanted players and support staff from the Caribbean to convene in the UAE prior to the start of the Indian T20 League.
West Indies are currently playing South Africa in a Tests series in St Lucia and they will also host Australia and Pakistan in the coming weeks. The Pakistan series will only end on August 24, which will leave the West Indies cricketers and staff only a three-day gap before the start of CPL.
Featured photo: Twitter / Caribbean Premier League