The IPL is usually held in the months of April and May but had to be postponed this year due to the Covid-19 p…Read More
MUMBAI: Fed up with the delay on part of the International Cricket Council (ICC) to share a final word on this year’s T20 World Cup, and unable to figure if the delay to make the said announcement has been deliberate or otherwise, the BCCI has decided to go ahead with its own plans regardless of the governing body.
The Indian cricket board is beginning to work on this year’s Indian Premier League (IPL), irrespective of when or not the statement from the ICC arrives on the T20 World Cup. A tentative window is being drawn up, as reported by TOI earlier, and the BCCI will not wait anymore to hear from the ICC.
“The year started on a horrible note and there’s been no relief on any front. But as time goes by, we need to take things head on and ensure that we remain prepared for any eventuality. Cricket is no different. It is time for the BCCI to start planning for the year ahead,” BCCI treasurer Arun Dhumal said.
The young office-bearer, who came aboard in October last year when the BCCI members were taking baby steps back into the game’s administration post a three-year long hiatus, says the world of sport is witnessing a global trend right now where countries are making a gradual return to mainstream on the domestic front.
“The NBA is beginning in the US in a protected zone. The English Premier League (EPL) is on and so are the FA Cup matches. Bundesliga was the first to show the way. Even Australia’s domestic rugby league is about to begin. This is what is happening right now. What BCCI is talking about is making plans, even if at the contingency levels, for September onwards,” Dhumal said, underlining how countries have been returning to live action in sport through domestic leagues and tournaments.
“So, what are we witnessing here? Domestic leagues are in focus while the Olympics and the World Cups are taking a backseat. That’s because local leagues don’t depend on too many external factors to get going. Revenues are more localised; gate receipts aren’t such a huge concern and local leagues can be trimmed and planned to suit particular windows. They’re also television friendly because they can be adjusted to primarily suit local prime time,” he added.
The BCCI strongly believes that it has already lost a lot of time because of delay in certain announcements (read: ICC). The stakeholders in Indian cricket are now convinced that they cannot wait for others to decide when and what India should be doing.
“Those announcements and outcomes are not in our hands. The T20 World Cup, for instance, is being postponed so let the announcement come when it has to,” Dhumal said.
TOI had reported earlier, quoting Dhumal as well as the IPL’s governing council chairman Brijesh Patel that the planning for IPL was soon going to be put in place with the months of September (last week), October and early November being seen as a tentative window. Dhumal’s comments now confirm that those plans are being put in motion right now, and the IPL is well on its way, apropos of the ICC’s delay.
Meanwhile, there are stakeholders in Indian cricket who express shock and surprise over the inordinate delay in ICC’s announcement. “There have been meetings after meetings. And nothing has come out of a single meeting? Even the chairman has resigned. What’s the ICC waiting for now?” say multiple stakeholders.