BCCI exploring all options to conduct IPL this year

BCCI chief Sourav Ganguly has communicated to the state units that the Board is mulling to conduct the tournament in empty stands, if need arises.

From left: BCCI secretary Jay Shah, president Sourav Ganguly and treasurer Arun Dhumal.   -  FILE PHOTO/ VIVEK BENDRE

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is exploring various options to ensure that the Indian Premier League (IPL) is held this year.

Late on Wednesday, BCCI chief Sourav Ganguly, has communicated to the affiliate unit members of the Board that they are even mulling to conduct the tournament in empty stands, if need arises.

The BCCI will decide on the road ahead soon and inform the state units accordingly, so that they do the needful.

This is a significant development, following the ICC Board meeting on Wednesday. With no clarity on the T20 World Cup yet, there is a lot of speculation over the future of IPL, this year. While the BCCI is optimistic to host it around September-October, it would eventually depend on the available window.

Even though UAE and Sri Lanka have shown keenness to host the cash-rich league, the BCCI is not thinking of moving the tournament out of the country, just yet.

Wait and watch for franchises

Some of the IPL franchise bosses have told this publication that they are yet to hear anything from the BCCI. "We have been told that they are exploring various options and will let us know in due course of time," one of the franchise executives said, adding: "We need to monitor the COVID-19 situation and decide accordingly."

READ: No decision on T20 World Cup, ICC decides to wait and watch

Most of the franchise bosses claim that they will wait and watch before deciding on their future course of action. If the IPL doesn't happen this year, the BCCI would lose nearly Rs 3,500 crore.

No word on resumption yet

As far as BCCI is concerned, it's yet to come out with a time frame as to when the national training camps will resume. It has been learnt that the SOPs have been ready, but it is yet to be approved by the office bearers. When contacted, BCCI treasurer, Arun Dhumal told Sportstar that the cricket operations team is working on the plan. "Our team is working on it. We will have to look at all the the aspects," Dhumal said.

Even though Mohammad Shami and Kuldeep Yadav have started basic outdoor training on their own, the players are awaiting clear guidelines from the Board about the resumption roadmap.

Domestic cricket plans

In his letter to the state bodies, Ganguly has also written about possible changes in the format of domestic cricket.

"Moving ahead, the BCCI is in the process of planning the domestic competitions for the next cricketing season. We are working on various formats and options in our endeavour to ensure that various domestic tournaments are held, they stay competitive and participation is feasible. The BCCI will come up with more details on this front over the next couple of weeks," Ganguly said in the letter, indicating that there could be changes in the format.

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