The BCCI held a meeting with the eight Indian Premier League franchises here on Saturday to discuss a way to conduct the tournament in the wake of the spread of the novel coronavirus.
Here are six takeways from the meeting.
1. Curtailed IPL : Eight teams playing each other just once instead of home and away in the league (32 games, including 4 playoffs) or being divided into two groups of four teams each and playing home and away (28 games including playoffs).
2. Extending the window : The original schedule of the IPL suggested that the tournament will start on March 24 and get over on May 29. With two weeks gone, the Board plans to extend the window till May 31. And also talk to overseas boards so that some of the players could be available at least until June 7.
3. Double headers : The franchises were told that the number of double headers could be increased. They were also informed about how they can play 60 matches despite the loss of days initially.
4. Three games a day? : In case the matches start only after April 20, the number of matches could go up in a day across venues. Even on weekends, there could be up to three matches across venues. However, that requires further deliberation between broadcaster and franchises.
7. Limited venues : There is a possibility of hosting the matches in limited venues — that will not only reduce logistical problems, but will also reduce the staging costs. As of now, the plan is to reduce the venues to just four or five.
6. Play in empty stadium : In case the situation doesn’t change by April 15 and the foreign players are not issued visa, the Board will consider hosting the games behind closed doors. However, that depends on how things stand then.
- No compromising on security: The security of players, support staff, groundsmen have to be of prime importance. There were discussions on how to improve the facilities during the games.
- Even though that’s the last option, the franchises have been told that the Board will assess the situation till the first week of April and then decide on the postponement. With the international calender starting from June, it would be tough otherwise to continue with the league. If the tournament is finally cancelled, there is a possibility that the BCCI will come out with a compensation policy. That, however, needs to be deliberated upon further.
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