It looks like the BCCI has made up its mind on going the distance to conduct the thirteenth edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL). In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, the BCCI has suspended the league till at least April 15 as a precautionary measure. As things stand, the chances of the IPL starting soon are very bleak.
The pandemic has been wreaking havoc across the world and all the major events have been called-off. Previously, media reports suggested that a truncated IPL within a delayed, shortened window is BCCI’s ‘Plan B’. However, the Times of India has reported that the BCCI does not have a ‘Plan B’ in place but only ‘Plan A’ – which is to host the entire tournament consisting 60 matches.
The Indian cricket board has reportedly decided that if it can’t host the IPL in the country, it would move to a different venue. The board is also ready to host the tournament at a later date even if all the players will not be available. Thus contrary to the recent reports, the BCCI is not ready at all to cancel the IPL this year altogether.
IPL 2009 was played in South Africa inside 37 days
The report further stated that BCCI is planning to host the IPL in July-September if things do not improve in the coming days. The Future Tours Programme (FTP) for the year 2020 has little of consequence between the months of July and September barring the Asia Cup T20 in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) scheduled in September and England hosting Pakistan at home before playing Ireland in the white-ball format.
So barring England and Pakistan (who do not participate in the IPL), the other cricket nations do not have a packed window. As far as India are concerned, they have the Asia Cup in September and 3 ODIs and 3 T20s in Sri Lanka (June / July). What BCCI is likely wondering right now if those schedules can be tweaked and how.
“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,” a source told the Times of India.
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