After the ICC meeting on Wednesday deferred yet again the decision on the fate of T20 World Cup, BCCI president Sourav Ganguly stated that the board is working on all ‘possible options’ for the IPL to be held this year.
In a letter to affiliated associations, Ganguly wrote that there’s a keen interest from all stakeholders including cricketers and fans alike to stage the suspended season and BCCI will conduct the event even if it means playing matches behind closed doors.
“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,” Ganguly was quoted as saying by The Indian Express.
“Recently a lot of players, both from India and other countries, participating in IPL have also shown their keenness on being a part of this year IPL. We are optimistic and the BCCI will shortly decide on the future course of action on this,” it added.
The IPL has found backing from several high-profile international cricketers including Pat Cummins, Jos Buttler, Glenn Maxwell, Steve Smith among others.
The fact that Ganguly shot the letter after the ICC meeting makes it a significant development.
Should the T20 World Cup, scheduled to be hosted by Australia in October-November, be cancelled, it will open up a window for the BCCI to conduct IPL in some form.
There’s another hope for the annual T20 league – Cricket Australia seems to be more interested in hosting India for a full tour later this year rather than T20 World Cup.
The main reason behind the decision being delayed is the improving coronavirus situation in Australia and ICC wants to make a well informed decision.
“We will only get one chance to make this decision and it needs to be the right one and as such we will continue to consult with our Members, broadcasters, partners, governments and players and to ensure that we make a well informed decision,” ICC chief executive Manu Sawhney said in a statement.
“The situation surrounding the global pandemic is evolving rapidly and we want to give ourselves the best possible opportunity to make the right decision for the whole sport. The health and well-being of everyone involved is our priority and other considerations fall out from that,” he added.