The Asia Cup T20 competition in Sri Lanka now remains to be the last “negligible” hurdle for a “full-fledged” India Premier League between September last week and November.
Latest developments among the International Cricket Council member nations and Cricket Australia have all but assured that the ICC T20 World Cup 2020 in Australia is the last possibility for the international cricket calendar this year. That clears a free window for the IPL 2020 in its entirety.
The readiness of the Sri Lanka Cricket to host the six-nation Asia Cup T20 Championship in September can be one minor concern for Board of Control for Cricket in India’s professional league. Any international event during September means that players flying into India after the competition will have to miss the start of the IPL for serving the expected mandatory quarantine on their arrival.
“Remote possibility of the Asia Cup 2020 in Sri Lanka can be one negligible concern for the BCCI. But that won’t matter match,” a leading sports media rights and sponsorship professional who is keeping a close watch on developments told SportzFront.
That might leave the players from Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Afghanistan out of the IPL action for the first week or ten days. A BCCI official has though already confirmed that India will not entertain any international assignment that could potentially interfere with a full-fledged IPL schedule.
The BCCI has also put it on record that the issue of moving the Asia Cup to Sri Lanka was never discussed in the Asian Cricket Council teleconference. The Indian board had further added that the Asia Cup was converted into the T20 format to use the continental competition as a warm-up event for the ICC T20 World Cup Down Under. Since the World Cup won’t be happening this year, what was the point in playing the Asia Cup.
India’s likely absent anyway would also make the Asia Cup virtually a redundant event for the broadcaster and the other financial stakeholders. For Star Sports, which hosts the broadcast rights of the Asian Cricket Council events and the IPL, the Indian professional league would make more business sense than any multi-national tournament sense India.
Meanwhile, the Pakistan Cricket Board is also considering to stage the remaining four Pakistan Super League games in November to complete the 2020 season. That, however, will not affect the IPL as players’ priority will always lie in the Indian league.