The coronavirus pandemic has put all international sporting events in a jeopardy. The feasibility of the much-awaited IPL 2020 is also bleak if the situation doesn’t subside in the near future. Along with the resumption of international cricket, fans are eagerly waiting for the commencement two prominent events– T20 World Cup 2020 and IPL 2020.
However, the hosting issues involving these two showpiece events have led to a drift in the relationship between the ICC and BCCI. Although ICC have former BCCI chairman Shashank Manohar as chairman, the Indian board is not happy with the apex council’s delay in the postponement of T20 World Cup.
However, there is a ray of hope for IPL 2020, especially after the latest developments surrounding the T20 World Cup. The 16-team event, scheduled to be held for the first time since 2016 from 18 October to 15 November in Australia, seems unlikely to go ahead as scheduled due to the pandemic.
Even as the Australian government has eased restrictions on public gatherings in its final stage of easing the COVID-19 restrictions, the top brass of Cricket Australia has expressed concerns over hosting the T20 World Cup, given the travel restrictions and the pandemic situation across the globe.
After former Cricket Australia CEO Kevin Roberts said T20 World Cup fate was under ‘very high risk’, chairman Earl Emmings has signalled the cricket body’s intentions, saying the chances of hosting the World Cup as scheduled is ‘unrealistic’.
Nonetheless, the ICC has deferred the final call on T20 World Cup to July in a bid to make the right decision in the ‘only chance’ it has to do so.
“Why is the outgoing ICC chairman creating confusion? If the host cricket board doesn’t want to conduct T20 World Cup, why will it take a month to announce the decision? Is he trying to hold BCCI to ransom?” a senior BCCI official said.
BCCI is hoping for an early decision on the status of the T20 World Cup so that they can plan IPL 2020 accordingly. BCCI is aiming to host the cash-rich league in the September-October window if the T20 mega-event gets postponed.
“It’s just not about the BCCI or the IPL. If ICC announces the postponement during this month, even those member nations whose players are not a part of IPL can plan their bilateral series in that window. -making will hurt everybody,” added the BCCI official.
The quick decision by ICC will help BCCI to come to a conclusion over the hosting venue of the IPL. Sri Lanka have also emerged as likely hosts where there are three grounds– Premadasa, Pallekele, and Hambantota. The island nation is considered as a cost-effective option to host the T20 extravaganza.