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IPL 2021 Postponement: Low Chance of England Players to Join the Second Leg

One of the most awaited tournaments or events in India. IPL 2021, a distraction from the current global pandemic was accepted surprisingly well amongst the sports fans. The craze for IPL has never faded from its commencement in 2008, even with the new rules or protocol imposed from the global COVID-19 pandemic, the tournament managed to ensure popularity with ‘no crowd rule’. The rule was imposed for the safety and security of the stakeholders involved in the 2021 league. IPL does not only satisfy the ‘craze of cricket’ in India but also utilized as a valuable platform for advertisers. 

Consequences of Postponing IPL 2021

Although the decision of postponing IPL 2021 was inevitable considering the health risk of all the stakeholders involved in making the event successful. However, it cannot be denied that the decision of postponing the event will lead to a number of consequences. 

Disappointed audience: 

In times, where people are battling the struggles of the COVID-19 pandemic, IPL 2021 was accepted as a relief from all the things encircling the pandemic. Although, the cricket lovers were not able to cheer their favorite Army from the stadium but rooting for them from the other side of the screen was enough for a required distraction. The postponement has led to disappointment and created a void amongst the cricket enthusiasts. Moreover, the other form of audience, who are insightful regarding the ‘possibilities of winning’ engage themselves in thrilling sports betting games on numerous online sites, but with the postponement, the audiences need to explore a different area of excitement.

Impact on marketing, ad, and the world of entertainment: 

IPL is considered one of the biggest marketing carnivals in our country. According to the estimation by TAM Sports, the average volume of ads in IPL 2021grew by around 2 percent in comparison with IPL 2020 as well as the tally for the categories also grew by around 10 percent. Advertisers and marketers invest heavily in the IPL due to the intact craze or popularity and reach of the tournament. The decision of postponement will surely impact the marketing communication plans of the advertisers and/or marketers. BCCI is also deciding on scheduling the event overseas by finding appropriate windows for the matches, which can ultimately act as an obstacle for the Indian marketers to associate with the tournament. Moreover, people will also lose the source of entertainment with this necessary step. 

 Unlikely participation of the entire auctioned batch: 

With the decision of rescheduling the remaining matches, IPL 2021 may not witness the same batch, who were selected from the auction as the players may have prior commitments for other tournaments or projects in the coming months. Moreover, the decision on the window or final date will determine the participation potentiality of the original batch. 

Probable Unavailability of England Players

The rescheduling of the remaining matches of IPL 2021 has led to the uncertainty of the England players’ participation. Two of the possible windows declared by BCCI can be September and November. During these months, England players will be occupied with the West Indies tour, which will restrict their participation in the IPL 2020 tournament. The England players will be busy based on their Future Tour Programs (FTP), which will cover multiple tournament tours to Bangladesh and Pakistan as well as the West Indies tour. The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) have already allowed the participation of the England players by avoiding the test series which would have been against the Kiwi team (New Zealand). The avoidance was feasible because of the match not being a part of the ‘World Test Championship’. But the ECB cannot ignore all the international tours assigned in the Future Tours Programs. 

The decision not to participate in the bout with New Zealand was formed due to the timings of the formalization of the test match, which came very late, in January, when the NOCs (No-objection Certificates) were already signed. 

Future Tour Plans of the England Team

The FTP of the England team will be packed with tours and pre-scheduled matches. The commitment for IPL led to the ECB’s decision of ‘letting go’ the test cricket against New Zealand. However, in the upcoming September, the England team will be engaged in touring for a series in Bangladesh. The Pakistan tour is scheduled for mid-October. 

However, for now, apart from the pre-scheduled tour plans, the main priority of the England team is to return home safely without being exposed to the virus. 

Hope for participation in the rescheduled matches

Although the England team’s schedule will be packed in the upcoming months there can be a possibility of their participation if the match is scheduled in the United Kingdom. According to Kevin Pietersen, the former captain of the England team, if the remaining matches of the IPL 2021 are conducted in the UK, then a window of September can be just after the five-match test series with India. The reason for recommending the UK as a location instead of the rumored destination of UAE is the increased probability of England teams’ participation. This window in England will also include several Indian players already in the destination along with the fee schedule of the England team. With the assessment of other countries’ participants, the inclination of the decision on destination towards the United Kingdom can be fruitful. 

Moreover, the recommendation by the former England team’s captain was formed through the statements of around four English counties for expressing willingness in hosting the remainder of IPL 2021 matches. The counties that offered the provision of hosting the matches are Lancashire, Warwickshire, Surrey, and Middlesex. 

Wrap Up 

The decision of postponing one of the most popular events, IPL 2021 will reflect few disappointments based on the audiences’ engagement and the England team’s participation. However, it was a necessary step for BCCI to control the risk of spreading the virus when few of the franchise players or associated stakeholders were found positive. The strategy of choosing a window and destination needs to be scheduled with the careful consideration of overseas teams’ participation, such as the England team because of the prior commitments and risk from the pandemic.

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