The Indian Premier League 2021 – the world's biggest T20 cricket competition – has been postponed due to the ongoing covid-19 crisis. Sunrisers Hyderabad were scheduled to play against Mumbai Indians in Delhi today, 4th May, but that match is cancelled after an SRH player tested positive. The BCCI says it will meet again soon to decide how to conclude this edition. Our thoughts and prayers are with the people of India during this difficult time. Fingers crossed cricket fans will be able to watch a 2021 IPL live stream from anywhere very soon.
Date: 9th April – 30th May 2021 (currently postponed)
Start time: 3pm BST / 7.30pm IST / 12am AEST
Venues: Chennai / Mumbai / Ahmedabad / Dehli / Bangalore / Kolkata
Australia stream: Kayo Sports (opens in new tab) (free 14-day trial)
Watch anywhere: ExpressVPN (opens in new tab)
UK stream: Now TV (opens in new tab) (£33/month)
India stream: Disney+ Hotstar (opens in new tab) (£3/month)
So, the IPL is on ice for now. The official BCCI statement reads: "The Indian Premier League Governing Council (IPL GC) and Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) in an emergency meeting has unanimously decided to postpone IPL 2021 season, with immediate effect... we have tried to bring in some positivity and cheer, however, it is imperative that the tournament is now suspended and everyone goes back to their families and loved ones in these trying times."
After moving to the UAE in 2020 owing to national lockdowns, the VIVO IPL returned to India for 2021. Matches were being played behind closed doors at neutral grounds in six cities: Chennai, Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Delhi, Bangalore and Kolkata.
Eight teams are competing for four playoff places, with just two progressing to the grand final (originally set for on Sunday 30th May but now postponed) . As usual, each team is allowed up to eight overseas players – but only four can appear in the starting XI.
Five-time champions Mumbai Indians were favourites to hit the IPL 2021 for six but they now languish mid-table having lost two out of their last three matches. Still, with big hitters such as Rohit Sharma and Hardik Pandya in their ranks, plus New Zealand's Trent Boult, Mumbai could mount a comeback.
Rajasthan Royals might have finished bottom of the IPL last year but with England duo Ben Stokes and Jos Buttler on hand, Jaipurian hopes remain high. As for the Kolkata Knight Riders, they'll be led by England's Eoin Morgan, who has a couple of top signings at his disposal: Bangladesh's Shakib Al Hasan and Australia's Ben Cutting.
Three-time IPL winners the Chennai Super Kings are in second place, captained by veteran wicket-keeper MS Dhoni, who has played in every IPL since its inception in 2008. With England's Moeen Ali and Sam Curran available for selection, CSK have outperformed and are in contention for a fourth IPL trophy.
Sunrisers Hyderabad, champions in 2016, aren't short of talent. They can pick from England's Jonny Bairstow and Jason Roy, Australia's David Warner, New Zealand's Kane Williamson and the world's number one-ranked T20 bowler, Afghanistan leg-spinner Rashid Khan.
The Delhi Capitals, who narrowly lost out Mumbai by five wickets in last year's final, are top of the table. Like the Virat Kohli-led Royal Challengers Bangalore, DC are very much in the hunt for their first-ever IPL trophy. Both teams are looking like title contenders having won four out of five of their opening matches.
Finally, Kings Punjab are still hoping for big things having signed Aussie fast bowler Jhye Richardson for £1.8m and England's world number one-ranked T20 batsman, Dawid Malan.
Most of this year's IPL matches start at 3pm UK time, with a few Sunday double-headers scheduled for 11am. You can view the full IPL 2021 schedule here (opens in new tab). Make sure you know how to watch a 2021 IPL live stream from anywhere in the world when place recommences.
How to watch the 2021 IPL for free
Cricket fans in Australia can watch the 2021 IPL for free thanks to Kayo Sports (opens in new tab). The popular Aussie streaming service carries the Fox Sports channel which has the rights to air every 2021 IPL match. A Kayo subscription costs from AU$25 per month but new users get a free 14-day trial (opens in new tab).
Going to be outside Australia during the 2021 IPL season? You'll need to use a VPN (opens in new tab) to access Kayo Sports without being geo-blocked. We recommend ExpressVPN (opens in new tab) because it comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee and 24/7 customer support.
You can cancel Kayo Sports at anytime – there's no lock-in contract – and access includes ton of top-notch sports, from F1 to football and golf. All in all, it's a pretty generous offering – especially with the free trial.
How to watch the IPL abroad using a VPN
Even if you have subscribed to the relevant 2021 IPL cricket rights holders, you won't be able to use them when outside your own country. The service will know your location based on your IP address, and will automatically block your access.
A Virtual Private Network (VPN) helps you get around this obstacle. A VPN creates a private connection between your device and the internet, such that the servers and services you’re accessing aren’t aware of what you’re doing. All the information passing back and forth is entirely encrypted.
There are many VPN providers out there, with some more reliable and safe than others. As a rule, we’d suggest a paid-for service such as ExpressVPN (opens in new tab) which offers a 100 per cent risk-free money back guarantee. If you're not happy with the service any time within the first 30-days, then you can cancel with no penalties at all.
Try ExpressVPN risk-free for 30 days (opens in new tab)
ExpressVPN hits it for six with a 30-day money back guarantee with its VPN service. You can use it to watch on your mobile, tablet, laptop, TV, games console and more. There's 24/7 customer support and three months free when you sign-up.
UK: IPL live stream 2021
Sky Sports has the rights to Indian Premier League cricket in the UK. Catch the action on Sky Sports Main Event and Sky Sports Cricket in HD. There is no 4K coverage.
To watch, you'll need to either subscribe to Sky Sports on your platform of choice or buy a Now Sky Sports streaming pass (opens in new tab). Note that the mobile pass will not offer you access to the cricket, so either go for a £9.99 Day Pass or, for better value, the £33.99 Montly Pass (opens in new tab).
Now Sky Sports Month Pass + HD boost for £33.99 (opens in new tab)
Watch the 2021 IPL cricket, as well as all Sky's coverage of football, golf and the 2021 F1 season in 1080p HD. No strings, no commitments, just lots of lovely sport streamed to your laptop, desktop or phone.
Sky subscribers can add the 11 Sky Sports channels to their package here (opens in new tab). Virgin Media and BT TV customers will be able to watch a 2021 IPL live stream by subscribing to the Sky channels on their platform too.
IPL live stream 2021 in India
Disney+ Hotstar (opens in new tab) is the place to find live coverage of the 2021 IPL in India. Opt for the Premium subscription and you'll get access to live cricket plus original Disney+ content (in English). Disney+ Hotstar Premium costs Rs. 299 (around £3/$3) per month, or you can take out an annual subscription for Rs. 1499.
It's only available within India but you can access your Hotstar account from anywhere using a VPN. We recommend ExpressVPN (opens in new tab) as it comes with a risk-free 30-day money-back guarantee.
USA: IPL live stream 2021
Time was, many Americans considered cricket to be little more than baseball on valium. But with the game gaining popularity in the States, US cricket fans have two ways to watch the 2021 IPL:
Willow TV (opens in new tab) is the official US broadcaster of the VIVO IPL 2021 but coverage is only available through TV Everywhere, meaning it's only available to cable customers. You'll need to subscribe to Willow and then sign in via the login page of your TV provider (Spectrum, Dish, Xfinity, etc).
Non-cable subscribers can live stream all the IPL action via Disney's Hotstar US (opens in new tab). Subscription to the platform costs just $50 per year and includes live streams of every IPL game. Bargain. It's also home to many a Bollywood blockbuster.
Of course, Hotstar US is only available at that price within the USA. Stuck abroad this month? You'll need to use a VPN (opens in new tab) to access Hotstar US and live coverage of the 2021 IPL.
IPL 2021 calendar
9th Mumbai Indians v Royal Challengers Bangalore, Chennai
10th Chennai Super Kings v Delhi Capitals, Mumbai
11th Sunrisers Hyderabad v Kolkata Knight Riders, Chennai
12th Rajasthan Royals v Punjab Kings, Mumbai
13th Kolkata Knight Riders v Mumbai Indians, Chennai
14th Sunrisers Hyderabad v Royal Challengers Bangalore, Chennai
15th Rajasthan Royals v Delhi Capitals, Mumbai
16th Punjab Kings v Chennai Super Kings, Mumbai
17th Mumbai Indians v Sunrisers Hyderabad, Chennai
18th Royal Challengers Bangalore v Kolkata Knight Riders, Chennai
18th Delhi Capitals v Punjab Kings, Mumbai
19th Chennai Super Kings v Rajasthan Royals, Mumbai
20th Delhi Capitals v Mumbai Indians, Chennai
21st Punjab Kings v Sunrisers Hyderabad, Chennai
21st Kolkata Knight Riders v Chennai Super King, Mumbai
22nd Royal Challengers Bangalore v Rajasthan Royals, Mumbai
23rd Punjab Kings v Mumbai Indians, Chennai
24th Rajasthan Royals v Kolkata Knight Riders, Mumbai
25th Chennai Super Kings v Royal Challengers Bangalore, Mumbai
25th Sunrisers Hyderabad v Delhi Capitals, Chennai
26th Punjab Kings v Kolkata Knight Riders, Ahmedabad
27th Delhi Capitals v Royal Challengers Bangalore, Ahmedabad
28th Chennai Super Kings v Sunrisers Hyderabad, Delhi
29th Mumbai Indians v Rajasthan Royals, Delhi
29th Delhi Capitals v Kolkata Knight Riders, Ahmedabad
30th Punjab Kings v Royal Challengers Bangalore, Ahmedabad
1st Mumbai Indians v Chennai Super Kings, Delhi
2nd Rajasthan Royals v Sunrisers Hyderabad, Delhi
2nd Punjab Kings v Delhi Capitals, Ahmedabad
3rd Kolkata Knight Riders v Royal Challengers Bangalore, Ahmedabad
4th Sunrisers Hyderabad v Mumbai Indians, Delhi
5th Rajasthan Royals v Chennai Super Kings, Delhi
6th Royal Challengers Bangalore v Punjab Kings, Ahmedabad
7th Sunrisers Hyderabad v Chennai Super Kings, Delhi
8th Kolkata Knight Riders v Delhi Capitals, Ahmedabad
8th Rajasthan Royals v Mumbai Indians, Delhi
9th Chennai Super Kings v Punjab Kings, Bengaluru
9th Royal Challengers Bangalore v Sunrisers Hyderabad, Kolkata
10th Mumbai Indians v Kolkata Knight Riders, Bengaluru
11th Delhi Capitals v Rajasthan Royals, Kolkata
12th Chennai Super Kings v Kolkata Knight Riders, Bengaluru
13th Mumbai Indians v Punjab Kings, Bengaluru
13th Sunrisers Hyderabad v Rajasthan Royals, Kolkata
14th Royal Challengers Bangalore v Delhi Capitals, Kolkata
15th Kolkata Knight Riders v Punjab Kings, Bengaluru
16th Rajasthan Royals v Royal Challengers Bangalore, Kolkata
16th Chennai Super Kings v Mumbai Indians, Bengaluru
17th Delhi Capitals v Sunrisers Hyderabad, Kolkata
18th Kolkata Knight Riders v Rajasthan Royals, Bengaluru
19th Sunrisers Hyderabad v Punjab Kings, Bengaluru
20th Royal Challengers Bangalore v Mumbai Indians, Kolkata
21st Kolkata Knight Riders v Sunrisers Hyderabad, Bengaluru
21st Delhi Capitals v Chennai Super Kings, Kolkata
22nd Punjab Kings v Rajasthan Royals, Bengaluru
23rd Mumbai Indians v Delhi Capitals, Kolkata
23rd Royal Challengers Bangalore v Chennai Super Kings, Kolkata
25th Qualifier 1, Ahmedabad
26th Eliminator, Ahmedabad
28th Qualifier 2, Ahmedabad
30th May 2021 – TBA vs TBA, Ahmedabad