With Indian Government slowly easing the lockdown restrictions, the Sri Lankan Cricket Board has requested the BCCI to go ahead with the planned bilateral series between the neighbouring sessions.
As per the FTP, India is scheduled to tour the island in July for three ODIs and as many T20Is and if all goes well, there are chances that India might tour the Island. In an official mail sent to BCCI, SLC has asked BCCI to consider the possibility of Bi-lateral series.
However, BCCI has not given any clearance as of yet. But, in case the series goes ahead as scheduled, the players must adhere to the strict rules and regulations. And there are strong chances that the matches will be hosted behind closed doors considering the safety of the fans.
Even, Indian coach Ravi Shastri has also called for starting the cricket season progressively with a bilateral series and then IPL. “I wouldn’t put too much emphasis on world events right now. Stay at home, ensure domestic cricket comes back to normal, cricketers at all levels – international, First Class, etc – all get back on the field. That’s the most important bit. Second: Start with bilateral cricket. If we (India) had to choose between hosting a World Cup and a bilateral tour, obviously, we’d settle for the bilateral. Instead of 15 teams flying in, we’d settle for one team flying in and playing an entire bilateral series at one or two grounds,” Shastri said.
According to Shastri, it won’t be easy for the 15 teams to come flying in and play cricket in such circumstances contrary to IPL that can be played at across two cities to manage travel and all the logistics.
“In that sense, what India’s lost out on is domestic cricket – the Indian Premier League (IPL) for instance. When cricket resumes, we could give the IPL a priority. The difference between an international tournament and the IPL is that the IPL can be played between one or two cities and the logistics will be easier to manage. The same thing with bilaterals – it’ll be easier for us to tour one country and play there at specific grounds than 15-16 teams flying in during these times. The International Cricket Council (ICC) needs to look at this objectively,” Shastri adds.