The BCCI is currently not in a position to take a call on the future of IPL and it would be “too premature” to comment on whether the tournament can be slotted in place of the ICC World T20 in October-November, treasurer Arun Dhumal said on Monday.
The IPL has been postponed till April 15 in the wake of COVID-19 pandemic and with the country scheduled to go for another two week extension of the lockdown, it is but natural that the cash-rich league can’t be held during its dedicated April-May window.
“Right now, the picture is very hazy. We don’t even know when the lockdown will end and if we don’t know, how can we even have a meaningful discussion. Once we get a clarity from the government, we can then sit and take fresh stock of the situation. Any speculation about it’s future will be premature,” Dhumal told PTI during an exclusive interaction.
“Everyone wants IPL to happen but let’s have some clarity first.”
The BCCI treasurer clarified that there was no scheduled conference call between the office bearers on Monday.
“We office-bearers are in constant touch. It’s not just IPL but there is huge amount of pending administrative work, legal issues that needs to be studied. But there was no conference call scheduled today as there is nothing to discuss till current situation persists,” Dhumal said.
He also provided some practical insight into rescheduling of IPL as speculations are rife about the October-November window.
“Tell me one thing. Firstly, if Australia is under lockdown for six months, how can we conclude that they will allow their players to travel from next month right away? What if the travel restrictions for its citizens are still in place. How will they come to India then? And don’t forget that other boards also need to agree,” Dhumal said.
“Secondly, even if the lockdown ends in India, what if some of the major cities still have those COVID ‘hotspots’? Can we risk the lives of our sportspersons? Thirdly, the players are likely to go without training for months.
“Even if we are in a position to conduct a tournament, for international players, we need to give them a bare minimum time to do full-fledged training before we can start a tournament. All these factors can only be clear when we are in a position to discuss,” Dhumal said.