After huge uncertainty over whether the Indian Premier League would happen or not in 2020, the tournament happened in the UAE and turned out to become a rousing success. The successful completion of an event of this magnitude, turned out to become a ray of light in an otherwise gloomy year, brought on by the COVID-19 Novel Corona Virus Pandemic! Soon after the IPL 2020 got over, the Indian team travelled to Australia and had an amazingly successful tour there, winning both the T20 series as well as the Test series and etching a historic victory at the Gabba, which had not been breached by any touring side for the past 32 years! With the T20 World Cup set to happen later this year, IPL 2021 takes all the more importance for Indian players. 

The player retention and release as well as the transfer window for players between the IPL franchises just got over recently on January 20th, the news that everybody was eagerly waiting for is here! The IPL Player Auction for 2021, is all set to happen on February 18th and as speculated earlier, it would be happening in Chennai, where India will be taking on England in the first 2 Tests of the 4-Test series, behind closed doors! At the recently concluded IPL Governing Council meeting on January 6th, it had been confirmed that IPL 2021 would remain an 8-team event, despite the IPL announcing the addition of 2 additional teams. However, these 2 new teams would be added to the tournament, only from its 2022 edition! The big question though, is whether the IPL 2021 tournament will be held in India, with the challenges brought on by the COVID pandemic, which is yet to be rooted out completely! Reports state that the UAE is still being considered as one of the main options!

Meanwhile, after releasing and retaining players, the IPL franchises now have a definitive purse from which they can purchase players at the upcoming auction. Kings XI Punjab have the biggest purse with Rs. 53.20 Crores and 5 overseas players slots and 9 total player slots available. RCB have a purse of Rs. 35.90 Crores with 13 total and 4 overseas players slots available to fill. CSK recently acquired Robin Uthappa through an all-cash transfer deal and are left with Rs. 22.90 Crores in their purse with 7 players slots to fill, but just 1 overseas player's slot remaining. It will be interesting to see, which overseas player the Chennai Super Kings would bid aggressively for, as they are still in need of a quality finger spinner as well as a middle-order batsman. SRH & KKR have the lowest balance in their purses with just Rs. 10.75 Crores remaining, while the Mumbai Indians have Rs. 15.35 Crores available, with 7 players slots to fill, including 4 overseas players slots! The big news for CSK fans is that, they have retained Suresh Raina, who had walked out of IPL 2020 but the reasons were unknown and there were a lot of speculations that the management and Raina had had some disagreements and that things were not working out between the two. However, Raina turned out for his state side Uttar Pradesh in the ongoing Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 tournament and hit a half-century in 5 outings. Stay tuned for updates...