Earlier this week, a huge remark was made by a senior Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) citing the delays of International Cricket Council (ICC) in deciding whether the T20 World Cup 2020 will go ahead or postponed. The Indian Premier League (IPL) governing body has decided to go ahead with the planning, irrespective of the ICC’s decision on the fate of the tournament to be held in Australia.
The IPL, due to commence in March, remains postponed indefinitely with the threat of potential second wave of the coronavirus pandemic is still around. However, the “fed up” Indian board has not given up on the idea of staging the tournament later this year, waiting for the final call on the fate of T20 World Cup 2020 slated to run from October 18 until November 15. The IPL is tipped to start in late September.
“The year started on a horrible note and there’s been no relief on any front. But as time goes by, we need to take things head-on and ensure that we remain prepared for any eventuality. Cricket is no different. It is time for the BCCI to start planning for the year ahead,” BCCI treasurer Arun Dhumal was quoted as saying by Times of India. The BCCI had previously noted it wanted to wait for ICC’s decision.
Citing examples of sports league in the world that successfully restarted in the wake of the pandemic, Dhumal said BCCI is making plans for resumption from September. “Even Australia’s domestic rugby league is about to begin. This is what is happening right now. What BCCI is talking about is making plans, even if at the contingency levels, for September onwards,” he said.
Dhumal hinted that the governing body could prioritise IPL over international cricket saying it’s easier to host domestic league since “local leagues don’t depend on too many external factors to get going”. He also explained that “revenues are more localised” and “television friendly because they can be adjusted to primarily suit local prime time.”
Previously, Star India’s acquisition of broadcast rights of the Indian Premier League in 2017 was one of the biggest sporting deals in India, paid a whopping ₹16,347.5 crore for the rights to broadcast the event for five years. Star, now merged with Disney India was targeting a figure of ₹3000 crore for the IPL 2020 advertising sales. However, the halt made by the coronavirus pandemic affected this figure.
“Those announcements and outcomes are not in our hands. The T20 World Cup, for instance, is being postponed so let the announcement come when it has to,” Dhumal said. IPL 2020 is likely to be conducted in the September-November window if the T20 World Cup is postponed this year. If not in India, Dhumal earlier hinted that staging the league overseas is their “last option”.
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