With the coronavirus bringing cricket to a standstill, there is little clarity over the fate of this year’s Indian Premier League (IPL). The thirteenth edition of the league was scheduled to start on March 29. But earlier this month, the BCCI suspended the league at least till April 15 in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak.
India is currently under a mandatory 21-day lockdown. It is safe to say that the IPL is more than unlikely to start in April and it would not be too absurd to assume that the tournament might not take place this summer. The BCCI has perhaps realised it and is now looking towards the end of the year to host the league.
According to IANS, the BCCI is now looking at the October-November window to host IPL 2020. But the move can only be possible if the ICC decides to postpone the men’s T20 World Cup that is to be held later in the year. The T20 World Cup is scheduled to be held in October-November but with Australia sealing its border for the next six months, the tournament is under doubt.
A BCCI official said that while there have been talks with regards to hosting the IPL in the October-November window, it will only be possible if the World T20 is postponed.
“At present, there is a lockdown of borders and while Australia has said it is a potential six-month lockdown, things can change with an improvement in the scenario. UK could follow the same pattern considering the spread of the pandemic. We are still to understand what the Indian government will decide with regards to closing the international borders. In such a scenario, the only window that looks safe is the October-November one. But again, that collides with the T20 World Cup.
“So, if the ICC does go ahead and decides to postpone the T20 World Cup due to the current scenario, only then we can look at the October-November window because even if a six-month border closedown is ordered by every country from say now, it ends by the start of October. But again, for that, the spread of the coronavirus needs to be stopped and things must come under human control. In short, there will have to be a lot of maths,” the official said.
The official further said that if the T20 World Cup is indeed cancelled this year, it is unlikely to be held before 2022 because of the T20 World Cup in 2021 in India.
“Again, it would be the last step for the ICC to push the T20 World Cup from 2020 to 2022 because there is no window in 2021. So, at the moment, it is all a bit too far-fetched to be honest. But yes, the October-November window has been spoken about for the IPL, but a lot of external factors need to fall into place for that to become a reality,” said the official.