Mumbai: If Australia decides to defer the World T20, scheduled from October 18 through November 15, because of Covid-19 and if Covid-19 situation starts to improve in India, plans are on to hold the Indian Premier League (IPL) with Indian and international players after monsoon.
Speaking at the TCM Sports Huddle webinar, Rahul Johri, CEO of the Indian cricket board, said that the 2020 edition of the IPL could be held with both Indian and international players once the monsoon seasons ends and the Covid-19 situation improves in India. However, it will depend on what Australia decides about the World T20 when the International Cricket Council’s board meets on May 28.
“IPL is one of the greatest engagers. More people watched the IPL last year than those who voted for general elections. For sponsors, cricket is a leader and it will lead the way. The recovery will be sharper than a V-shaped recovery,” said Johri at the webinar.
“The flavour of IPL is that best players of the world come and play, and everyone is committed to maintaining that flow. But it will be a step-by-step process. We can’t expect normalisation tomorrow,” he said, adding, “We will be guided by the government guidelines. Our advisory says: IPL is suspended till further notice. We are engaging with various agencies. After the current phase of lockdown ends, there is the monsoon. Cricketing activities can start only after monsoon. By then, hopefully things will improve.”
Johri cautioned that holding the IPL later this year, even if the go-ahead is given. “When flights resume, everyone has to quarantine themselves before playing. We will have to look at how that will impact the schedules, which as it is are tight. Imagine you have to factor in 14-day quarantine prior to practice also. So, there are a lot of moving parts. But we are still optimistic. Hopefully, the situation will improve after monsoon, and we will approach it then.”
Meanwhile, former India international Anshuman Gaekwad, who is also BCCI apex council member, believes the T20 World Cup will likely not be held this year and that opens up a window for the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2020 to be held.
"I have my doubts that T20 WC will be held this year. About IPL, we cannot think of just now. It will depend on Indian conditions and the window is only during this T20 WC which is October-November. If the World Cup gets cancelled or postponed, then only IPL can happen but then also it depends on what the conditions are in India," said Gaekwad, according to reports.