BCCI won’t push for WCup post­pone­ment to open IPL win­dow

‘If Cricket Aus­tralia is con­fi­dent they can han­dle it, it will be their call’

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In­dia’s cricket board will not push for the Twenty20 World Cup in Aus­tralia to be post­poned but would con­sider stag­ing the In­dian Premier League (IPL) in the Oc­to­ber-Novem­ber slot if it be­comes avail­able, a se­nior BCCI of­fi­cial has told Reuters.

This year’s IPL, which is worth al­most $530mn to the BCCI, has been in­def­i­nitely post­poned be­cause of the Covid-19 pan­demic while the World Cup, which is sched­uled to be­gin on Oc­to­ber 18, is also in jeop­ardy.

Re­ports in Aus­tralian me­dia have sug­gested In­dia’s in­flu­en­tial board may look to push for the World Cup to be post­poned to open up a win­dow for the IPL.

World Cup con­tin­gency plans are on the agenda at next week’s In­ter­na­tional Cricket Coun­cil (ICC) board meet­ing but BCCI trea­surer Arun Singh Dhu­mal said In­dia would not be rec­om­mend­ing it be pushed back.

“Why should the BCCI sug­gest post­pon­ing the Twenty20 World Cup?” Dhu­mal told Reuters by tele­phone.

“We’ll dis­cuss it in the meet­ing and what­ever is ap­pro­pri­ate, (the ICC) will take a call.

“If the Aus­tralia gov­ern­ment an­nounces that the tour­na­ment will hap­pen and Cricket Aus­tralia is con­fi­dent they can han­dle it, it will be their call. BCCI would not sug­gest any­thing.”

While Aus­tralia has seen new in­fec­tions of the novel coro­n­avirus slow to a trickle and is grad­u­ally eas­ing travel curbs and so­cial dis­tanc­ing re­stric­tions, host­ing a 16-team World Cup would be a Her­culean task for Cricket Aus­tralia.

Dhu­mal ques­tioned whether the tour­na­ment should go ahead if it had to be played without spec­ta­tors and said the Aus­tralian gov­ern­ment would play a key role in any de­ci­sion.

“It all de­pends on what the Aus­tralian gov­ern­ment says on this — whether they’d al­low so may teams to come and play the tour­na­ment,” he added.

“Will it make sense to play games without spec­ta­tors? Will it make sense for CA to stage such a tour­na­ment like that? It’s their call.”

Cricket Aus­tralia chief ex­ec­u­tive Kevin Roberts was guarded about the prospects of stag­ing the tour­na­ment as sched­uled on Fri­day.

“We don’t have clar­ity on that one, yet. But as the sit­u­a­tion con­tin­ues to im­prove, you never know what might be pos­si­ble,” he said.

“It’s ul­ti­mately a de­ci­sion for the ICC.”

The ICC has said it was un­likely to make a fi­nal call on the fate of the World Cup un­til Au­gust but some boards are in the process of mak­ing con­tin­gency plans in the event of a post­pone­ment. While the BCCI recog­nised an open Oc­to­ber-Novem­ber win­dow would suit the IPL, Dhu­mal said there was no point in mak­ing plans un­til there was some cer­tainty about the World Cup.

“If we have the win­dow avail­able, and de­pend­ing on what all can be or­gan­ised, we’ll de­cide ac­cord­ingly,” he added. “We can’t pre­sume that it’s not hap­pen­ing and go on plan­ning.”

(BCCI)

IPL tro­phy.

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