The fate of hosting the Indian Premier League (IPL) season this year, due to commence March 29 and later moved to April 15, remains a major doubt as the global pandemic remains uncontainable. Amid concerns on whether the cash-rich T20 cricket match will happen this year, former England captain Michael Vaughan calls five-week IPL 2020 in September.
Vaughan, in a tweet earlier this week, feels a shortened IPL leading up to the ICC World T20 in October and November could be a feasible solution. “Here’s a thought .. The IPL is played for the 5 weeks leading up to the T20 World Cup in Oz .. all players use it as the great warm up for the WC .. then the WC happens .. So important for the game that the IPL takes place but also the WC,” Vaughan tweeted.
It was a response to Australian journalist and Sportswriter Peter Lalor who came up with a suggestion on twitter that reads: “Here’s a thought. T20 World Cup in Oz abandoned because of obvious difficulties with players flying in. Quarantines etc. BCCI swoops and plays IPL in that Oct-Nov window. CA will let players compete knowing it needs India to tour in summer. What do you think?”
Vaughan’s suggestion would mean IPL will commence in the September window in the lead up to the World T20 which begins in Australia on October 18. “September is the time when there is monsoon in India. Mumbai will be under water, there could be steady rain in Chennai. It is a decision that can’t be taken that lightly,” a senior BCCI official told a news outlet in response to the suggestion.
“You don’t know the situation tomorrow. Let there be a sign that the curve is flattening and normalcy can return. That’s when you start discussing options,” the BCCI source added. As of now, India is currently under a 21-day lockdown, having more than 2,000 positive cases with 50 deaths by the COVID-19 pandemic that killed nearly 50,000 and infected almost a million people globally.
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) chief Sourav Ganguly previously said, “Nothing has been decided yet. There is no clarity” following the nationwide lockdown. “Things remain as it was on (March 14), when we decided to postpone the IPL (to April 15). Since then nothing has changed. So, there is no update,” Ganguly added.
Speaking about normalcy of the situation, one factor to consider as well is the travel restriction as many nations have already directed their athletes to cancel sporting related activities abroad. In India, About five-dozen overseas players contracted for the tournament. As of now, the Indian government has barred the entry of people from specific countries and regions.
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