‘We will continue to look at the coronavirus situation till September then we will decide whether we host the tournament in India or UAE’
Indian Premier League's governing council chairman Brijesh Patel on Tuesday confirmed that a meeting will be held in the next 7-10 days to discuss the scheduling of the tournament.
He has also said that the Board of Cricket in Control for India (BCCI) would be seeking the permission of the government to go ahead with IPL 2020.
Cricket boards in UAE and Sri Lanka have offered to host the league considering the situation in India where the number of coronavirus cases had surged to 1.16 million on Tuesday morning, including 28,084 deaths.
"The governing council meeting is expected in 7-10 days’ time. There will be discussions on the scheduling of the tournament and we will also look at the operational aspect," Patel told ANI.
"We will continue to look at the coronavirus situation till September then we will decide whether we host the tournament in India or UAE. We have to take the permission of the government as it is mandatory," he added.
"They (Emirates Cricket Board) made an offer to host it but we require government permission to stage it in UAE. We'll discuss the issue in the next governing council meeting in 7-10 days," Patel told Reuters.
The International Cricket Council (ICC) on Monday announced the postponement of the T20 World Cup 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic. The T20 World Cup was slated to be played in October-November in Australia this year.
The IPL 2020 edition was slated to commence from March 29 this year, but it had to be postponed indefinitely due to the pandemic.
However, speculations have been rife for a while now that the tournament might go ahead if the T20 World Cup, slated for October-November, was to be postponed.
With the tournament being postponed, the BCCI is likely to now go ahead with the tournament in September-November window.
The coronavirus cases in India are rising rapidly so as of now it is not known whether the tournament will be played in India or outside the country.
UAE is being viewed as one of the top contenders for hosting the tournament, however, the BCCI has not clarified as to where they are looking to host the tournament outside India.
With majority of the Indian players not having access to grounds amid the pandemic, teams will need at least three to four weeks to get them match ready.
Foreign players will fly in directly to the UAE from their respective countries.
"Our players will need at least three to four weeks of training, if not more. We will finalise all our plans once the BCCI announces the dates. It looks like the IPL will be in the UAE and we are ready for that," a team owner told PTI.
Since India tour Australia for a four-Test series right after the IPL, training of the Test players is also an important issue.
Test specialists like Cheteshwar Pujara and Hanuma Vihari, who are not part of the IPL, are likely to train for the eagerly-awaited series in a bio-secure environment at the newly-renovated Motera Stadium in Ahmedabad during the time of the IPL.
A few fringe players are expected to join them at Motera along with the Indian team's support staff, which is free during the IPL.
Work from home has become the norm amid the pandemic, therefore, there is a possibility that IPL commentary will happen from the comfort of the living room, a safer and cost effective-option considering the likes of Sunil Gavaskar, who is 71, are involved.
The viewership is expected to be a record one with people craving for live cricket, something KXIP co-owner Ness Wadia has said.
However, it remains to be seen how much the broadcasters and teams are able to attract from the sponsors in the current financial climate.
More moot points and questions ahead of the IPL GC meeting:
1) More double headers expected (original schedule had only five double headers).
2) BCCI will need to provide a Standard Operating Procedure to IPL teams even though they will have their own SOPs in place.
3) Will the BCCI compensate teams for not being able to generate gate money this year?
4) Will there be virtual commentary from Star Sports? It was seen in the recent 3TC event in South Africa with the likes of Aakash Chopra, Deep Dasgupta and Irfan Pathan commentating from home.