The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has been waiting for the ICC to take a call on the fate of the upcoming T20 World Cup which is scheduled to take place in Australia later this year. However, the BCCI has revealed that they are now planning for the rest of the year including 13th edition of Indian Premier League as the COVID-19 situation will slowly get better in places.
Cricket Australia has nearly shared that chances of hosting the World Cup amid the current scenario of COVID-19 outbreak is ‘unrealistic’. But the ICC didn’t reveal their final decision on the tournament yet. While they were supposed to take a call in May, it got postponed to July and kept the cricket boards in doubt over the marquee event.
A report in Times of India said the BCCI are keeping their eye in for a tentative window for the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2020, irrespective of ICC’s decision on the upcoming T20 World Cup. Treasurer Arun Dhumal confirmed the news as well.
“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,” Dhumal told Times of India.
“The NBA is beginning in the US in a protected zone. The English Premier League (EPL) is on and so are the FA Cup matches. Bundesliga was the first to show the way,” he said. “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 onward.”
As England will host West Indies and Pakistan soon, Dhumal said that BCCI could give a more priority on IPL over international cricket citing that it’s easier to host domestic leagues. This year’s IPL was earlier scheduled to take place from March 29 to May 17 but had to be postponed due to the pandemic outbreak until April 15 and now it is postponed for the indefinite time period. Even the recent reports also suggested that the tournament could take place in UAE or Sri Lanka if the situation doesn’t get better in the country anytime soon.
“So, what are we witnessing here? Domestic leagues are in focus while the Olympics and the World Cups are taking a backseat. That’s because local leagues dont depend on too many external factors to get going. Revenues are more localised; gate receipts aren’t such a huge concern and local leagues can be trimmed and planned to suit particular windows,” he shared.
“They’re also television friendly because they can be adjusted to primarily suit local prime time. 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,” he concluded.