IPL with Indians only not a good idea - CSK

The competition without foreign stars will be akin to the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy, says Chennai Super Kings.

The Indian Premier League has been indefinitely postponed due to the COVID-19 crisis.   -  K. V. S. Giri

Chennai Super Kings has expressed its disapproval of the idea of the Indian Premier League being held without the presence of foreign stars.

The IPL, which is indefinitely postponed, can be held in the September-October window if the scheduled T20 World Cup in Australia doesn’t take place.

“CSK is not keen to do an IPL with only Indian players. That way it would be playing another Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy (domestic T20 competition). The franchise has not been in touch with the BCCI of late as the situation is worsening,” a CSK source told PTI on the condition of anonymity.

“Let’s hope we can have the IPL later this year,” he added.

Financial consideration

CSK is three-time IPL champion, making it the second-most successful team in the event’s history after Mumbai Indians, which has won the tournament four times. The BCCI is also very keen to stage the IPL and if it doesn’t happen, the world’s richest board would be in financial trouble like Cricket Australia.

“The board will take a revenue hit of ₹4000 crore if it doesn’t happen. The board will be in a big problem,” BCCI treasurer Arun Dhumal told PTI earlier this week.

With COVID-19 cases continuing to rise in India, the board and IPL team officials see little point in discussing when the event can be held. “There has been no discussion with the BCCI ever since it postponed the IPL. There is no point in discussing also as things are unlikely to be O.K. any time soon,” the CSK source said.

“We expect the BCCI to take the best possible decision when the time comes,” he added.

Comeback postponed

For the IPL to happen with foreign players, travel restrictions, which are currently in place, will have to be eased. There is an option of conducting the IPL outside India, and Sri Lanka Cricket has even offered to host it.

M. S. Dhoni during practice in Chennai on March 2, 2020. - PTI


M. S. Dhoni was expected to make a much-awaited comeback with the IPL but that, too, has been postponed indefinitely. Team-mates like Suresh Raina and Piyush Chawla have already spoken about how eager Dhoni was to return. According to them, Dhoni had the determination of a youngster before the league was suspended due to the lockdown imposed to contain the pandemic.

“Dhoni is his own man but I see him playing the IPL for at least two-three years. When it comes to playing for India, only he knows best,” the source added.

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Last month, Rajasthan Royals executive chairman Ranjit Barthakur had said the franchise was open to a shortened IPL with only Indian players. “Earlier we could not think of an Indians-only IPL but now there is enough quality to choose from. It is better to have an Indians-only IPL than not have it at all,” he told PTI.

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