Evidently, the BCCI is determined to allow the upcoming Indian Premier League season run. Even with the Covid-19 outbreak running rampant in the country and the world, it would take something extraordinary to halt the cash-rich IPL league.
Recently, the franchise owners met the BCCI office-bearers and IPL governing council members to discuss the matter. Apparently, Plan B is to host a shortened league during a delayed, narrower window.
However, the BCCI has since declared that they are sticking to ‘Plan A’ and host the entire tournament. All 10 teams are expected to play all 60 matches and time does not matter. Even if hosting in India is difficult, they may look at overseas venues, even if all the players are not available.
According to the Future Tours Programme, cricket’s annual calendar, the months of July and September are fairly open for scheduling, barring the Asia Cup T20 in September and England hosting Pakistan before playing Ireland in Test cricket.
Aside from England and Pakistan, most other cricketing nations do not have a packed window. This is barring Sri Lanka, Afghanistan and Bangladesh, who are all participating in the Asia Cup. India will be participating as well, with three ODIs and 3 T20s in Sri Lanka before the T20 World Cup.
As per the BCCI, “The 2009 IPL – in South Africa – was played inside 37 days. That’s five weeks and two days. If that kind of a window is made available, the IPL can be held partly in India and partly overseas, or the entire tournament can be shifted, depending on how the Covid-19 situation is globally.”
In the case of IPL, “with every week lost from a minimum of 37 days, nine to 11 matches have to be shaved off,” say industry executives. Based on this, the scheduling of the tournament will take effect, should accommodating circumstances prevail in the near future. The league’s multiple stakeholders are already busy working on the various options to keep the league alive. Interestingly most of the players have been strangely silent on the matter of the IPL