The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has announced that the second phase of IPL 2021 will take place in UAE during the months of September and October.
The tournament is likely to clash with a couple of international games, thus putting the participation of overseas cricketers in doubt. On top of that, with the ICC T20 World Cup looming large, cricket boards are unlikely to risk their players in the T20 league.
While the Sourav Ganguly-led body is working day in and day out to figure out a way to get the international players on board by talking to individual boards, it is unlikely that they will be able to avail the services of all overseas cricketers contracted to the franchise.
Let us take a look at 3 teams that will be affected the most international players skip IPL 2021
#3) Sunrisers Hyderabad
Sunrisers Hyderabad had a horrendous outing in the first half of IPL 2021 and it is only going to get worse when the tournament resumes in the UAE.
The Orange Army are likely to miss some of their star overseas cricketers - David Warner, Jason Roy, Jason Holder and Jonny Bairstow - due to international commitments.
Warner and Bairstow are vital cogs in the Hyderabad setup, and when on song, they are the most destructive opening pair in the competition. The team management will have a tough time finding able replacements for the two ahead of the second phase.
Sunrisers Hyderabad are currently placed eighth in the points table with only one win from seven outings.
#2) Kolkata Knight Riders
The Kolkata-based outfit are another team who will be severely affected by the absence of overseas cricketers in the UAE phase of IPL 2021.
As per reports, the likes of Eoin Morgan, Pat Cummins, Shakib Al Hasan and Andre Russell are likely to remain unavailable for the rest of the season. These foreign players build the core of the team and would have been valuable to Kolkata's chances of making a comeback in the competition after a woeful start.
Kolkata will also have to think about their captaincy options if the Englishman fails to travel to the UAE for the second phase of IPL 2021. Former skipper Dinesh Karthik has already volunteered to take up the job in Morgan's absence.
Kolkata Knight Riders are currently in seventh spot with four points.
#1) Rajasthan Royals
The Royals had to endure problems with their overseas cricketers even before the tournament began. Star fast bowler Jofra Archer was ruled out of the competition with an elbow injury, while Ben Stokes' stay in India was cut short by a finger injury he suffered during Rajasthan's IPL 2021 season opener.
To make things worse, Liam Livingstone and Andre Tye also pulled out of IPL 2021 midway.
The UAE stint is likely to make things even more difficult as the franchise might miss the service of Jos Buttler and Mustafizur Rahman during the second phase. The England wicket-keeper batter will be busy with international commitments, while Mustafizur is unlikely to get an NOC from the Bangladesh Cricket Board.
Rajasthan Royals currently sit at fifth on the table, having won 3 games in 7 matches.