New Delhi: Is India set to host the 13th edition of the IPL at the cost of 2020 World T20 in Australia? On the same night that the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) Board meeting postponed the decision on fate of World T20 to next month, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) president Sourav Ganguly dashed off a letter to all state associations stating that board is working on all possible options to organise IPL-13 even if it has to take place inside empty stadiums.
“The IPL 2020 was scheduled to start from 29th March 2020, however it has been indefinitely postponed. The BCCI is working on all possible options to ensure that we are able to stage the IPL this year, even if it means playing the tournament in empty stadiums. The fans, franchisees, players, broadcasters, sponsors and all other stakeholders are keenly looking forward to the possibility of IPL being hosted this year,” Ganguly stated in a letter, in possession with indiansportsnews.com.
“Recently a lot of players, both from India and other countries, participating in IPL have also shown their keenness on being a part of this year IPL. We are optimistic and the BCCI will shortly decide on the future course of action on this,” the former India captain added.
Earlier on Wednesday (June 10), the ICC had informed that they are exploring all ‘contingency’ plans to organise the men’s World T20 in Australia in October this year.
“The situation surrounding the global pandemic is evolving rapidly and we want to give ourselves the best possible opportunity to make the right decision for the whole sport. The health and well-being of everyone involved is our priority and other considerations fall out from that,” ICC CEO Manu Sawhney was quoted as saying in an ICC release.
“We will only get one chance to make this decision and it needs to be the right one and as such we will continue to consult with our Members, broadcasters, partners, governments and players and to ensure that we make a well-informed decision,” he added.
India’s bold decision clearly means that it’s unlikely that the World T20 will go ahead as scheduled this year, although the world body is trying to delay the decision. According to sources within the ICC, Cricket Australia (CA) have already expressed their inability to host the event later this year.
Apart from Ganguly’s call on IPL, the BCCI president also came out with a roadmap to begin domestic cricket in India post the coronavirus lockdown.
“The domestic cricket season 2019 – 2020 was nearing completion when the Covid-19 pandemic struck India. Fortunately, most of our domestic cricket for the last season was completed. Moving ahead, the BCCI is in the process of planning the domestic competitions for the next cricketing season,” the BCCI president’s letter stated.
The BCCI is also coming out with a set of SOPs which will have to be in place once cricket resumes in the country.
“The Covid-19 virus is highly contagious and BCCI has taken cognisance of the same. The BCCI is in the process of developing a Covid-19 Standard Operation Procedures (SOP) for all State Cricket Associations.
“Essentially this SOP is being made with a view of providing our Members with a standard set of guidelines which will help the Associations to resume cricket in their respective areas. The BCCI has engaged medical specialists for the drafting of this SOP,” Ganguly wrote.
The Board also assured all associations that it will release all due funds to the states, once all ‘documentation formalities’ are completed.
“During the past couple of months, when the country was under lock-down, the BCCI has made all efforts to release due and payable funds/grants to its various Members. Associations which have made proper submissions of their accounts and fund utilisation certificate, have already received their grants.
“The BCCI will endeavour to release due and payable funds/grants for the remaining Associations as well, once all documentation formalities are completed from their end. The BCCI is also regularly making payments to its vendors and suppliers,” Ganguly stated.