When it holds a Special General Meeting (SGM) virtually on Saturday, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) will set a three-week window between September 15 and October 15 for the resumption of the currently suspended IPL 2021 in the UAE (May 29). The meeting’s agenda includes “discussion on the upcoming cricket season in light of the pandemic prevailing in India.”
The broader scope of the agenda allows members to discuss the ICC T20 World Cup as well as the long-delayed compensation package for domestic cricketers affected by the cancelled last Ranji Trophy season. The BCCI also wants to host the T20 World Cup in India, and at the June 1 ICC Board meeting, it will ask the global body to wait on the COVID-19 situation in India before making a decision.
Sourav Ganguly, president of the BCCI, is expected to preside over Saturday’s meeting from Mumbai. The IPL is scheduled to begin on September 18 and end on October 10, with matches taking place at three venues in the UAE: Abu Dhabi, Dubai, and Sharjah.
“Of course, the main issue is the IPL schedule. Apart from four play-off games (2 qualifiers, one eliminator), including the final, we expect ten double-headers and seven single-headers. On the eve of the meeting, a senior BCCI official told PTI that the resumption game and final would be held on weekends.
It is also expected that considerable thought will be given to how to secure the services of overseas players, as well as other logistical issues such as bubble-to-bubble transfer.
“England Cricket Board director of cricket Ashley Giles has already stated that England players will not be permitted to participate in the IPL due to international commitments ahead of the ICC T20 World Cup. “Hopefully, the president and secretary will tell us how the situation of English players will be handled,” a franchise official who will be monitoring the situation told PTI.
World T20 standings
The BCCI will not give up on hosting the T20 World Cup in India for the time being, but with a third wave of COVID-19 expected during that time of year, the chances of the global event being shifted to the UAE are high.
There is a chance that the pitches will wear out, but a full IPL in the UAE would have meant 60 games.
So, even if World T20 is held during the final phase of the IPL, the ICC could request that the Emirates Cricket Board and the BCCI hand over at least two of the three venues for the global event. The tournament’s business end would take place on one of the grounds.
“How come we will have a foolproof arrangement for a 16-team T20 World Cup in India with nine cities if we are not able to hold an eight-team IPL in India during September and October?” a Board official asked. “The IPL bubble breach occurred only after air travel began. “I guess we’ll have to wait another month or two before we can figure out what’s going on,” he said.
The white ball series in New Zealand and South Africa has been cancelled.
India were supposed to play six white-ball games against South Africa and New Zealand as a warm-up for the T20 World Cup, but with the IPL scheduled for September-October, the series is unlikely to take place at that time of year. In addition, New Zealand is scheduled to play two Tests in India following the T20 World Cup in November, and it remains to be seen how the event’s dates are adjusted to accommodate the Test series.
Compensation for the Ranji Trophy
Due to the pandemic, the Ranji Trophy was cancelled last season, affecting nearly 700 senior domestic cricketers (men). While BCCI agreed to a compensation package in January of last year, the formula for distributing the package has yet to be determined.
“Currently, only 73 uncapped domestic cricketers have IPL contracts. Playing for the Vijay Hazare and Syed Mushtaq Ali trophies (Rs 35k per match) cannot compensate for the financial losses suffered by these players, according to a state unit official. “I guess the most feasible solution would be to hand over a lump sum compensation package to the state units, and they would distribute it among their players in accordance with their roster from the previous season,” the senior official said.