The BCCI is eyeing the September-October window, with the business end of the tournament spilling over to early November, to stage the 2020 IPL, Brijesh Patel, the IPL Governing Council chairman, confirmed. This, however, comes with a couple of riders: postponement of this year’s T20 World Cup in Australia in October-November and, before that, deferment/rescheduling of the Asia Cup in September.
“Yes, we are looking at those dates, but it all depends on the future of the T20 World Cup and the Asia Cup. Subject to that we are planning (the window for the IPL),” Patel told The Indian Express. Asked if the tournament takes place, would it be played behind closed doors, he said: “Again, it depends on how the situation is in September-October. We have to go by the government directive. First we need the go-ahead from the government.”
The former India middle-order batsman said players and official broadcaster are OK with the matches behind closed doors. “You can’t play a World Cup in empty stadiums. But the IPL being a league, it can be staged behind closed doors. The official broadcaster is OK with that and so are the players because they want to play.”
Patel’s comment came in the wake of BCCI president Sourav Ganguly’s letter to all the affiliated members/units of the cricket board wherein he wrote: “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.”
As BCCI treasurer Arun Dhumal told this paper, the Indian board needs a window of at least 40 days to stage the IPL. In 2009, the BCCI had done it inside 37 days, when the tournament was shifted to South Africa because of the general elections. The BCCI, however, hasn’t communicated its plans to the franchises yet. “Once the clarity comes from the ICC and we get the government nod, then we can tell the franchises,” Patel said.
The ICC is likely to take a call on the T20 World Cup’s future in July. As for the Asia Cup, with Pakistan hosting it at a neutral venue, the latest Asian Cricket Council meeting ended in a stalemate.
Meanwhile, Kolkata Knight Riders CEO Venky Mysore today spoke about franchises wanting a full IPL with overseas stars playing. “The quality of the product (IPL) is what has made it really, really special. I think it is safe to say that the collective view is that we have to have the tournament in its full format; the same number of games, with all the players part of it,” he said.
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