The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) reiterate commitment to host the 13th edition of the tournament this year in the wake of the global pandemic, looking at a possibility of a new window later this year according to members of the governing body. The cash-rich Twenty20 competition, due to begin on March 29 and pushed back to April 15, was postponed indefinitely.
Earlier this week, former India coach and BCCI apex council member Anshuman Gaekwad is optimistic about IPL return and hints its potential window. “I have my doubts that T20 WC will be held this year. About IPL, we cannot think of just now. It will depend on Indian conditions and the window is only during this T20 WC which is October-November,” Gaekwad said.
“If the World Cup gets cancelled or postponed, then only IPL can happen but then also it depends on what the conditions are in India,” Gaekwad added. As the T20 World Cup is likely to be postponed, the BCCI will get an opportunity to organise the IPL in October-November, with the participation of foreign players if things will get better during that time.
Previously, BCCI treasurer Arun Dhumal said that, ‘‘If the World T20 is held in Australia as per schedule (October 18 to November 15), then it will be almost impossible to find a window for the IPL which needs around seven weeks. If the ICC reschedules the World Cup and the coronavirus pandemic comes under control by that time, then there is a possibility of hosting the IPL this.”
“The Board reiterates that the safety and well-being of its athletes and support staff is paramount and will not rush into any decision that can hamper or jeopardize India’s efforts in containing the spread of the virus,” Dhumal added. Reports also quoted a source that says the BCCi is moving towards September-November window to organise the tournament.
“It is still early days as a lot of other things have to fall in place for this to materialise, but yes, the BCCI is looking at a September 25-November 1 window provided the number of cases in the country come down and the government does give a go-ahead. As I said, a lot of things do need to fall in place, but yes, these dates are being talked about and contingency planning is on,” the source said.
Earlier, the India Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) announced that stadiums and sporting complexes will be allowed to open without fans as the lockdown in the country extended to May 31. Dhumal said in a statement that the governing body “will wait further before organizing a skill-based training camp for its contracted players” as “restrictions on air travel and movement of people till May 3”.
The start is the league is seen to be one of India’s boosts as the economy is crippled by the global health crisis. At the time of writing, India has recorded more than 110,000 cases of infected with nearly 3,500 deaths from the deadly virus. According to a report, BCCI is expected to face huge losses. The cricket body can incur Rs. 3,869.5 crore loss if the tournament is cancelled.
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