Representatives of each of the 38 full members of the Board of Control for Cricket in India’s (BCCI’s) will, on Saturday, explore the options in resuming the suspended Indian Premier League (IPL) and the venues for the T20 World Cup in a virtual Special General Meeting (SGM).
With the COVID-19 breaching the IPL bio-secure bubble, the IPL was suspended with 31 matches remaining in the tournament. It has led to doubts over India’s ability to host the T20 World Cup in October-November. With the International Cricket Council (ICC) scheduled to discuss the T20 World Cup venues, the BCCI hierarchy is hoping to get its members on board in case the tournament cannot be played in India.
Despite earmarking the United Arab Emirates (UAE) as an alternate venue for the World Cup, the BCCI apex council last month shortlisted nine venues for the marquee event. The Hindu understands that the members will be presented with two options that the BCCI intends to propose to the ICC on June 1.
The first is to host the tournament in the “west zone corridor” with Mumbai, Pune and Ahmedabad as venues to minimise air travel.
But if the ICC Board doesn’t budge, then the BCCI members are likely to be briefed about the possible financial ramifications of the BCCI staging the World Cup in UAE.
“Anyway, with very less international cricket in India over the last year, the States’ share is going to dip. It will be a bigger hit should the BCCI host the tournament overseas. How will they calculate revenue sharing with ICC? All these issues will hopefully be discussed,” said a State association official, preferring anonymity.
The other inter-linked question is obviously rescheduling the IPL. At the moment, the BCCI is trying its best to squeeze in the IPL in UAE between its Test series in England (scheduled to end on September 14) and the T20 World Cup (likely to start by October 20).
However, with England and Australia boards unlikely to make players available at the cost of their respective national teams’ build-up for the T20 World Cup, it will be interesting if the September window gets a go-ahead on Saturday.
“If IPL has to be played without Australia and England cricketers anyway, wouldn’t it be better to schedule it after T20 World Cup?” queried another State association official. “All these issues will be discussed but I doubt if there will be any concrete decision considering the COVID-19 dynamics and the BCCI politics.”