Contrary to media reports on Tuesday that the IPL has been “indefinitely postponed,” the BCCI, on Wednesday, spoke to all eight franchises and other important stakeholders of the league, apprised them of the prevailing circumstances and conveyed that “given the situation, there is no choice but to postpone the IPL further. Further discussions will take place once the threat of Covid-19 subsides”.
BCCI president Sourav Ganguly, secretary Jay Shah, treasurer Arun Thakur, IPL governing council chairman Brijesh Patel and senior Board employees who look into the affairs of the league every year held a conference call on Tuesday following which it was decided to convey to franchises of the discussions that ensued.
The Board, on Wednesday, separately contacted all the franchises and informed them that in the given situation – with Covid-19 not showing any signs of subsiding – “the IPL is being shelved for the time being”.
No word whatsoever has been conveyed to any of the franchises yet of the “IPL being indefinitely postponed”.
“I don’t understand where the media gets stories from. What does ‘indefinitely postponed’ even mean? It’s an annual league so you’re not postponing it until April 2021 anyway, right? Right now, the call has been made only because the window that is reserved for IPL every year has run its course and the league won’t be played in that window (between April and May). It was more of an obligatory call, just like the ‘Force Majeure” letter that your newspaper (TOI) reported was an obligatory letter,” well placed sources in the know said on Wednesday.
The BCCI has a ‘Plan B’ in place for the league – one that TOI had reported in March. If any cricket has to take place in 2020, ahead of India’s tour of Australia in December, the IPL will take precedence over anything else, including the ICC T20 World Cup.
“But right now, it’s not the right time to talk about ‘Plan B’. The important thing right now is to talk about ‘Plan A’. ‘Plan A’ is to stay safe, stay quarantined, listen to what government authorities are saying, just like any other citizen of the country. Once this virus threat subsides any bit, and if it’s not too late in the year already (past October-November), we can talk about ‘Plan B’,” sources added.
The same was conveyed to the franchises on Wednesday, with senior BCCI officials once again reiterating that ‘indefinite postponement’ is a wrong term to use altogether.
“Right now, there’s no space to discuss IPL. Does that mean we shouldn’t be prepared for a future scenario? It’ll be silly if we don’t work on it and be prepared. Does that mean we’re jumping the gun? No. Every business globally would be working on future repercussions. Cricket too is business,” say those in the know.
TOI had reported earlier that should the threat of the virus subside, the IPL will take place even if it has to be at the cost of the T20 World Cup scheduled in October-November. The September-October window that is being eyed, as of now, to host the IPL, still stands.