Playing in empty stands, BCCI keen to host the IPL later in the year

Hosting the IPL this year would most probably mean that the T20 World Cup gets pushed to 2021.

Image: SPORTZPICS

Live sport is slowly but surely returning to the world following the coronavirus pandemic outbreak, initiated by the West Indies touring England later in the month for a three match Test series. Following that, Zimbabwe are set to tour Australia for three One Day Internationals in early August, giving cricket fans all around the world plenty to be excited for in the future.

The Board for Cricket Control in India (BCCI) also followed suit, signalling their intent for the resumption of cricket, with chairman Sourav Ganguly saying that he was keen to organise the VIVO Indian Premier League later in the year. In a letter sent to all the state associations of the country, Ganguly wrote that the BCCI is planning on hosting the IPL in September-October, albeit in empty stadiums. 

"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," read Ganguly’s letter.

The tentative dates earmarked for the 13th edition of the IPL would be in September-October. Currently, they would be clashing with the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup but Brijesh Patel- chairman of the IPL governing council believes that the latter tournament will be postponed to next year. 

“We are ready to go ahead with the IPL. But we can start planning the schedule only after the official announcement is made on the T20 World Cup, which I’m expecting will arrive anytime soon,” said Patil in an interview to the Times of India. 

Playing the IPL abroad?

In the same interview, Brijesh Patel hinted at the possibility of playing the IPL abroad, possibly in the United Arab Emirates, depending on the Covid-19 situation in India in the coming months. 

"It depends on how the situation is. We have to consider the Covid-19 situation at that point in time. Then we will decide where to host it. India is the first preference to host the IPL," Patel said.

Patel also indicated on the IPL being truncated this year, with fewer venues being used so as to avoid the risk of catching the infection. However, he and his team are waiting on confirmation from the ICC regarding postponement of the T20 World Cup before moving further on the scheduling of the IPL.

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