Coronavirus has been declared ‘pandemic’ by World Health Organisation and all the countries across the globe has started to put ban on the mass gathering more sternly. The sports minister of India has also released as advisory related to organising games in closed doors to avoid mass gatherings.
Last couple of days has seen a number of series being called off and a number of them being advised to be played behind the closed doors by the officials of BCCI and India’s Minister of State for Youth Affairs and Sports.
Also Read – BCCI needs to start IPL 2020 before 20th April
With the corona threat increasing every passing day, the IPL 2020 has been deferred till 15 April at least. The India-South Africa series has been called off along with all other cricketing activities in India.
“There were six to seven options discussed during the meeting between team owners and BCCI, including a curtailed IPL,” a BCCI source said.
Still if BCCI and IPL GC want to organise the mega tournament such as IPL 2020 this year.
Here are some possible ways of doing it-
1. To increase the Number of double headers-
This year in the originally proposed schedule IPL GC has arranged the double headers on Sunday’s only. But with the tournament already getting delayed by 17 days, IPL GC might fret over increasing the number of double headers and reduce the length of tournament.
However, availability of foreign players remains a constant period in this case as most of the foreign teams would start their preparation of upcoming World T20 in Australia.
2. Shorten the IPL by playing each team only once with the other team in league stage
This seems to be very unlikely but if Corona fear succeeds in postponing the tournament more further, BCCI and IPL GC will be left with this option only. In the shorter window BCCI might reduce the length of the tournament by playing each team only once with the other team in league stage with the top four sides qualifying for the playoffs.
7 options discussed between BCCI & IPL owners:
2)Extend the window
3)2 groups of 4 teams each (top 2 from each group to go in playoffs)
4)⬆️ the double headers
5)Games in couple of centres
7)Play in empty stadiums
— Sarang Bhalerao (@bhaleraosarang) March 14, 2020
In this case, the length of the tournament will reduce by almost half as their will be only 28 league matches instead of 56 along with four playoffs– making the tournament a 32 match affair.
3. Do it, the ICC way
Well, this would be the worst thing to happen with the tournament. But, if the window become too small, the IPL GC and BCCI might consider the ICC way to divide the 8 teams into two groups with each team playing against each other once before the top two teams qualifying for the playoffs on the basis of net run rate. In this case, only 16 matches will have to take place in the IPL 2020 season.
Yet, at a time, when there is almost no international Cricket, any of the three options can’t be ruled out. The Cricket fans, however, will pray to see the full IPL and so will the organisers and sponsors.