The Board of Control for Cricket in India Apex Council is scheduled to meet today (Friday) via a teleconference. The Indian Premier League 2020 will be one of the key items on the agenda.
However, the franchisees are not sure if the BCCI will be in a position to take a final call on the venues and dates for the league.
SportzFront spoke to three franchisees officials, including two CEOs. All want IPL 2020 to happen and all are awaiting to hear from the BCCI. They dismissed all news around IPL as mere speculation, saying they were yet to hear a formal word from the Board since it was decided in April to postpone the tournament indefinitely in wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We are not in a position to answer any questions on the IPL unless we get to hear something from the BCCI,” said Kings XI Punjab Chief Executive Satish Menon. “There is so much to be decided at the Government and the BCCI level. Anything beyond that is pure speculation.
“Our stand remains same. We cannot decide or say anything on the basis of speculation.”
Another IPL team CEO added that nothing much had changed since the IPL 2020 had been postponed from its March 28 start. He also did not expect much in terms a formal call on the IPL at the BCCI Apex Council teleconference.
“The BCCI is expected to deliberate on the IPL. But what do we expect when the scenario about the (T20) World Cup is not confirmed by the ICC. You may get some answers about the BCCI staff hirings, but about IPL there doesn’t seem to be anything concrete coming forward at this stage. Having said it, all the franchisees want the IPL to happen and will be ready to compromise on the issues needed to be compromised to ensure the league. Off course, it won’t be at the cost the (safety of) of players and officials.”
The Gulf News had reported that the BCCI has decided in favour of the UAE to stage the franchisee-based tournament this year. The 2014 edition had been played in the UAE when India went to General Elections.
The paper had also added that the franchise owners have agreed to go overseas with the IPL in view of the state of the novel coronavirus pandemic. All the three franchisees denied this, saying nothing about IPL has been discussed between them and the BCCI since April this year.
All the franchisees though want the league to take place. “We are only doing our routine core. But nothing specific can be done about the IPL at this stage,” said a Delhi Capitals official. “The franchisees do often interact with each other but there have been no regularised conversations.
“These are exceptional circumstances. So, nobody is expecting the league to be a normal affair. We do not even know whether it will happen in India or abroad.”
On the specific question about playing the league in the UAE, the official added “teams have agreed to play IPL overseas in the past. But this time there will be questions about camps, teams’ travel, quarantine, isolation, COVID-19 tests. We don’t think even the BCCI has answers for all these at this stage.
“Can BCCI announce the dates or schedule unless the ICC makes it official that there won’t be the World Cup this year. The overdue announcement on the World Cup will change the dynamics of the global cricket itinerary at least for this year. Anything before that is pure speculation.
“The BCCI is not that unprofessional to put the cart before the horse,” said the official with an obvious reference to the fact that the board will have to wait for the ICC decision on the World Cup.
The franchisees also opined that the BCCI is not that unprofessional to decide on the alternate venues – in India or abroad – without taking the stakeholders into confidence.