The Indian Premier League 2020 could well be on track after it was learned that Cricket Australia had told its players to plan on playing the IPL after the tour of England in September.
BCCI president Sourav Ganguly is keen on the IPL – the richest T20 league in the world. However, the International Cricket Council is yet to take a call on the fate of the T20 World Cup. If the World Cup is called off, a window of opportunity will be created for the IPL
According to sources, Australian players have been asked to plan on playing the IPL wherever it is held. So far, Sri Lanka and UAE have reportedly offered to host the IPL in case India is unable to.
Earlier, claims were made that New Zealand Cricket (NZC) has also shown its interest in hosting the 2020 IPL but the board’s spokesperson downplayed the reports calling it “speculations”.
“The report is simply speculation. We have not offered to host the IPL nor have we had an approach to do so,” NZC spokesperson Richard Boock said on Thursday.
The 2020 edition of the IPL was suspended indefinitely due to the coronavirus pandemic and it is not yet clear whether India can host the tournament given the rapidly increasing positive Covid-19 cases in the country.
Ganguly reiterated that his priority would be to ensure the IPL is played and hosted in India because moving it overseas will mean increased costs for all stakeholders.
The fate of the 2020 T20 World Cup was expected to be decided by June end but instead, the news of Shashank Manohar resigning from his post of ICC Chairman came out. On Wednesday Sourav Ganguly said that the BCCI is very keen on organizing the IPL as “life and cricket should get back to normal”.
After the IPL was suspended indefinitely due to the pandemic, BCCI has been hopeful of hosting the cash-rich league in the October-November window. A lot of questions have already been raised against the delay in decision making by ICC. Cricket Australia and former greats of the nation have already admitted that hosting a 16-team event during these extraordinary times due to the coronavirus pandemic will be in upheaval task.
BCCI President Sourav Ganguly has said that there would be no window left for IPL if the T20 World Cup in Australia goes ahead as per schedule. Ganguly, who turned 48 on Wednesday had added that India won’t be able to cancel or postpone its tour of Australia in December as it was a part of the pre-decided Future Tours Programme (FTP).
“If you ask about the IPL, we don’t know when that can be staged because we need to find a window for that first. The T20 World Cup is scheduled in October-November, the ICC is trying that the tournament goes ahead because it generates a lot of revenue for them. Till the time we get clear-cut directions from the ICC about the T20 World Cup, we cannot decide anything on the IPL.
“We don’t have a window for the IPL at the moment. We are going to Australia in December for the bilateral series which is part of the FTP (Future Tours Programme) which cannot be changed.
“So the Indian team will play its first full series in December. Asia Cup has been canceled in September. So at the moment, I cannot say when cricket will resume in India,” Ganguly told.
The former Indian captain on show ‘Inspiration’ confessed that BCCI doesn’t want a year without the IPL. On being asked if IPL can be shifted to UAE, Sri Lanka or New Zealand Ganguly hinted towards the logistical disasters which the franchises and boards will have to go through.
“We want to have it, as I said that cricket needs to be back,” Sourav Ganguly said on Inspiration.
“For us, it’s off-season at the moment which has helped. We finished our domestic season in March and then we had to cancel the IPL, which is the most important part of our domestic season.
“We want IPL to happen because life needs to be back to normal and cricket needs to be back to normal but we don’t have a decision from the ICC regarding the T20 World Cup,”
“We keep hearing different things from the media but till it’s officially not told to the board members and the countries, you don’t know what is happening.
“But we want to host it, our priority is India. Whatever time we get, even if we get 35-40 days we will host it.
“If it doesn’t happen in India because of Covid-19 because places like Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai these are big teams in the IPL and at this stage, I don’t think you can put your hand on heart and say that cricket will happen in these places.
“Secondly, will it be in India. If it’s not then we think of going out, but where. Because going out becomes very expensive for the board, the franchises because of the currency conversion rates,” Sourav Ganguly said.
Earlier, BCCI treasurer Arun Dhumal had given echoed similar sentiments saying that everyone was in pressure due to the uncertainty.
“We’ve to consider India first and then think of overseas. Everybody is under the pressure because of the uncertainty,” Dhumal had said.
Arun Dhumal had also expressed his disappointment against ICC’s delay in the decision over the T20 World Cup future and said, “When the host nation is showing its inability to host the tournament, there is nothing much left for the ICC.
I don’t know why they are delaying. It’s their call, whenever they want to go ahead with the announcement, they can. But sooner the better for world cricket.”
(with inputs from indiatoday)