According to a BCCI official, IPL 2021 will be played in India, and the governing body is confident of having fans in the stadium as well. The official decision regarding the venues will be taken at the IPL General Council meeting, which will take place after the mini-auction on February 18.
The last IPL took place in the UAE due to the COVID-19 restrictions in India. However, the BCCI is confident of hosting the 2021 edition of the tournament on home soil, while also welcoming spectators into the stadiums.
"In last few days a lot of positives have happened. With the Covid-19 situation improving every passing day, one thing is certain now that IPL 2021 will happen in India and we are sure to have fans in the stadium. The official decision about dates, venues and other aspects will be taken at IPL GC meeting after auctions on Feb-18,” a BCCI official told InsideSport.co
The ongoing Test match in Chennai between India and England is the first time that spectators have been allowed at a stadium in India since the start of the pandemic. If things go smoothly in the ongoing series, there is a high chance that IPL games could be played in front of fans.
"If the England series with fans goes off without any mishaps, then BCCI will hold the IPL allowing fans in stadia. We will see if the matches will be organised at limited venues – all of those decisions will be taken over the next few days." the official further added.
Only 15,000 tickets have been allotted for the second Test in Chennai and spectators must be seated in alternate chairs to ensure social distancing. Each time the ball goes into the stands, it is sanitized before being handed to the players again.
IPL Auction to be held on 18th February
After the second Test, all eyes will turn towards the IPL mini-auction, which will be held in Chennai. 292 players were shortlisted from the initial list of 1192 players, of which 11 players have been listed at the highest base price of INR 2 crore.
Some notable players who didn't submit their names for the auction are Mitchell Starc, Joe Root and Tom Banton. Meanwhile, Indian seamer Sreesanth, who returned to domestic cricket this year, didn't make the final list of 292 players.
Some of the top players who are up for grabs at the upcoming IPL auction are Glenn Maxwell, Steve Smith, Shakib Al Hasan, Moeen Ali, Sam Billings, and Aaron Finch.
Indian players like Kedar Jadhav, Harbhajan Singh and Umesh Yadav will also be looking for suitors. Arjun Tendulkar, who recently played for Mumbai in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy, will also go under the hammer on February 18th.