Amid Coronavirus outbreak, many sports events have been canceled or are postponed to another date. Indian Premier League (IPL) is also one of them, as it was earlier scheduled to be held on 29 March 2020 but due to global coronavirus pandemic, the tournament has been now postponed to April 15. The decision for the postponement of this season was reached with the consent of owners of all eight franchise teams.
The pandemic has been causing chaos across the globe, as well as all the major events, have been now called-off. Earlier, some of the media reports have also suggested that a truncated IPL within a postponed, reduced window is the ‘Plan B’ of BCCI. On the other hand, the Times of India has also reported that the BCCI does not have a ‘Plan B’ in place but at the same time, they only have ‘Plan A’, which is to host the complete tournament which includes 60 matches. If it is not going to play now then later, if not in India then it should be played overseas, if not with all the accessible players then some.
Apparently, the Indian cricket board has decided that if it can’t host the IPL in India, then they would move it to a different venue, other than India. The board is all set to host the tournament at a later date even if all the players are not going to be available at that time. Therefore, opposing to the recent reports, the BCCI is not ready at all to abandon the IPL this year overall.
The further report states that BCCI is planning to host the IPL between July and September if things do not recover in the upcoming days. The Future Tours Programme (FTP) for the year 2020 has little of consequence between the months July and September except for the Asia Cup T20, that is planned to be held in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and is scheduled for September and England hosting Pakistan at home before playing Ireland in the white-ball format.
In addition to that, the England & Wales Cricket Board (ECB) is now officially planning for launching The Hundred from this English summer i.e., between June and July.
Therefore, excluding England and Pakistan (who do not take part in the IPL), the other cricket nations (Australia, West Indies, New Zealand, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan) do not comprise of a packed window. As far as India is concerned, they have the Asia Cup in the month of September as well as 3 ODIs and 3 T20s to be held in Sri Lanka (June / July). It’s now hard for BCCI to make these schedules tweaked and if it is possible, then how.
As per a source that told the Times of India, “The 2009 IPL – in South Africa – was played inside 37 days.” That is a total of five weeks and two days. If that kind of a window is made accessible, then the IPL can be held “partly in India and partly overseas, or the complete tournament can be shifted, depending on how the COVID-19 situation is in international level,”