There is plenty of talk about the fate of the IPL and the T20 World Cup in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. The ICC is undecided and will wait it out for as long as they can whereas BCCI along with the franchises are preparing for a tournament behind closed doors. Nothing though has been finalised as yet.
“Once we get a window of at least 40 days for IPL, we will figure out safety protocols, player travel, bio-secure arrangements, etc.,” said BCCI treasurer Arun Dhumal.
The BCCI and the franchises are expectedly excited about the big payout but in a report in Indian Express, veteran administrator Niranjan Shah, however, added a note of caution — and asked a key question.
“This is an extraordinarily difficult moment in history. And it is ridiculous to even think of cricket right now. First, let’s bring the situation back to normal,” he said.
“Can we risk even one player getting infected?”
Earlier on Saturday, legendary Sunil Gavaskar also said that hosting the IPL in India may not be the most practical idea.
“After the announcement by the Australian government, there seems to be a possibility of conducting a World T20 in October. May be the teams will have to reach three weeks earlier, have seven days of practice games and also 14-day quarantine," Gavaskar told Aaj Tak.
“If ICC believes that World T20 can happen, then having IPL looks difficult because it could only be held if World T20 is postponed but after the announcement (by Australia PM Scott Morrison), IPL in October looks difficult," he said.
However a curtailed IPL in September, may be in Sri Lanka or UAE, is a more practical solution, the legendary opener said.
“September you can’t have IPL in India due to monsoon. But may be in Sri Lanka from early September with teams playing each other once instead of double header. May be you can think of that," Gavaskar said.
Australia pacer Kane Richardson also backed the ICC for deferring the decision on the fate of this year’s T20 World Cup, saying it’s important to give as much time possible to take the right call. A vital part of Australia’s T20 squad, Richardson said there was no rush to take the call.
“It’s always nice to know what’s going to happen in the near future but taking as much time as we can to make a decision about this is important. There no rush to make a decision," Richardson was quoted as saying by cricket.com.au.
“I think it’s the right move, I think Australia and New Zealand have been really good in terms of flattening the curve, so I think there’s some positivity there in terms of some cricket being on this summer with some kind of normality around it.
“The best decision is to take your time with this and make sure we’ve made the right decision," he added.