Due to the spike of coronavirus cases in India, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) hints cancelling all domestic cricket this season. The BCCI has finally managed to form a plan for the Indian Premier League (IPL). However, the board is unlikely to do the same for the traditional domestic events, prompting the suspension of the entire domestic cricket calendar.
“In certain states, it’s bad. In other states, it’s worse. The numbers are unrelenting. In such a scenario, how does one plan anything over a period of three or four months, when you’re not sure what’s in store tomorrow,” sources told a news portal. “The intent was always there but circumstances haven’t really changed. Ganguly’s letter was a little too early in the day.”
Previously, the BCCI president Sourav Ganguly, in a letter to state associations and stakeholders, said that the governing body “is working on all possible options to ensure that we are able to stage the IPL this year, even if it means playing the tournament in empty stadiums”. He said that they are “optimistic” about the return of cricket as the governing “will shortly decide on the future course of action on this”.
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However, the rising cases of the virus in India reached to its alarming rate with no signs of coming under control. At the time of writing, India sits next to USA with the highest number of coronavirus cases in the world.The challenge for the Board is the logistics and the permission from the states and local authorities, where the matches are supposed to take place.
“First, the state government permissions would be required. Then the city-specific municipalities will need to give a go-ahead. And even if that happens, preparing a bio-secure bubble for 37 Ranji teams, five Duleep Trophy teams, and the several other domestic teams would be next to impossible. Travel and accommodation will be another concern. It’s not feasible,said another source.
Aside from the Ranji Trophy, the likes of Duleep Trophy, the U-23 CK Nayudu Trophy, Vijay Hazare, Deodhar Trophy and the Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 tournament will be affected. Meanwhile, the IPL, which is also a domestic tournament, was prioritized as it generates bigger audience. The BCCI is avoiding a massive loss of INR 4,000 crore if the cash-rich league gets cancelled.
The 13th edition of the cash-rich tournament will be played on September 19, with defending champions Mumbai Indians to kick-start the competition against Chennai Super Kings in Abu Dhabi. The upcoming 53-day edition is by far the longest in the history of the league and will be staged behind closed doors with slight possibility that reduced crowd may be allowed later on.
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