IPL Governing council chairman, Brijesh Patel has confirmed that BCCI is ready for hosting the IPL 2020 and just waiting for ICC’s call on the T20 World Cup. Due to the prevailing CoViD-19 conditions, the Apex body has deferred its decision to first 10 June and then July after the discussions on 28 May and 10 June respectively.
Speaking to TOI on Thursday, IPL Governing council chairman Brijesh Patel said, “We are ready to go ahead with the IPL. But we can start planning the schedule formally only after the official announcement is made on the T20 World Cup, which I’m expecting will arrive anytime soon. On our part, we’ve already earmarked the September-October window for the tournament to be played.”
Right now, BCCI is looking at the September-October window to host the IPL. However, Patel stated that the IPL 2020 schedule and plan will only be put in place after the official confirmation from ICC.
“Right now, we’re saying it’s tentative because finalities of the schedule can only be worked out once official confirmations arrive. Talks are going on with the league’s multiple stakeholders and we’re all on board. So, it’s a matter of time before we start putting things in place,” the GC chairman said.
Brijesh Patel is also open to the idea of hosting IPL abroad in order to staging the tournament in bio-secure environment. However, the Quarantine period will also have its say.
“We have to watch how things are going to play out over the next one month from a Covid perspective. We don’t mind shifting the IPL to another country, either in part or in full. There are other aspects to be considered here.
“Suppose we shift just the first leg out of the country, we will have to go through a quarantine when we fly there. But we may probably also have to go through another quarantine when we’re back for the India leg, if Covid doesn’t relent. Or who knows, by October things will be different. Let’s see. Right now, we’re not ruling out the idea of playing the whole tournament overseas,” Patel said.
Patel also stressed that the tournament need to be planned in such a way that not only the impact of monsoon can be minimized but also the Indian players get 14-days quarantine time before flying Down Under for the Test series.
“If the IPL has to begin in September, there’ll be a threat of monsoon. Whatever the case, logistics will have to be worked out carefully. Whether in India or overseas, the tournament won’t be played at more than two or three venues because it’s only for television,” says Patel.
Till now, the BCCI has received invitations from the Emirates Cricket Board (UAE) and Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) to host the tournament in case BCCI looks for shifting it abroad. If this happens, the UAE will have the weightage of the two for a number of reasons, first UAE has already hosted a leg of IPL there, in 2014. Second, the grounds in Dubai and Abu Dhabi are far in less dense areas and that will help maintain a bio-secure environment. Lastly, the weather is likely to be more accommodating.
“Also remember, wherever the IPL is played, it’ll be played to empty stands. So, as long as it’s available prime time for Indian fans, it shouldn’t be a problem.” Even the broadcasters seem to be more than happy as long as the tournament is played in prime timings. “As long as the full tournament is played and is available to Indian viewers on prime time and there’s no gap in the middle of the tournament because of a repetition of quarantine or such, they’re (Star) going to be fine with it,” say industry executives.