Indian cricket fans are eagerly looking forward to September 19 when the 2020 Indian Premier League (IPL) commences. Indian cricket fans have been deprived of all cricket action as the BCCI suspended both domestic and international matches due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
There has been zero cricketing action in India since mid-March and cricket players have been unable to practice or train due to the seriousness of COVID-19 in India. A select bunch of domestic players who have been contracted by IPL franchises have been the lucky ones to fly to the United Arab Emirates to train and take part in the 2020 IPL.
However, the large majority of domestic cricketers in India have been waiting patiently for the domestic season to resume. They will be very disappointed to know that the entire domestic season for 2020 is likely to be cancelled by the BCCI shortly.
BCCI Says Difficult To Resume
The BCCI has been holding serious discussions about the resumption of the 2020 domestic season. Unconfirmed reports suggest that the BCCI brass do not think that it is possible to resume the season in 2020 because of the on-going problems caused by COVID-19. No official decision has been conveyed yet but rumours suggest that the entire season will be cancelled and an announcement to this regard will be made in the coming days.
Domestic cricketers look forward to the Ranji and Duleep Trophy, Deodhar Trophy, Vijay Hazare, the Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 tournament and the U-23 CK Nayudu Trophy. These domestic tournaments are the lifeblood for Indian cricket as it gives both young and veteran cricketers the chance to shine and impress the selectors.
Domestic players use these tournaments as a platform to showcase their talent and push for selection in the Indian national side. Playing these tournaments also give them a chance to improve their technique, sort out their flaws and keep themselves fit. Domestic cricketers depend heavily on the payments they receive from the BCCI for taking part in each of these domestic matches.
The cancellation of the season is going to hit these players really hard because most of them have been waiting patiently during the lockdown to resume practice and get back to playing cricket. If the BCCI cancels the rest of the season, the majority of domestic players will be deprived of playing cricket for nearly 9 months.
BCCI President Spoke Too Early
Domestic players have reason to be disappointed and upset because it was only on August 22nd that BCCI President Sourav Ganguly sent out a letter to all state associations informing them that the BCCI was planning a shortened Ranji Trophy and a limited domestic season. The idea was to only host games and tournaments that would provide guaranteed revenue for players, ground staff, match officials and support staff. Ganguly made it clear that the BCCI would look to resume cricketing action as soon as things improved in India.
However, things have not improved in India and have gone considerably worse since he sent out the letter. Given the fact that COVID-19 is still a major concern throughout India, it is going to be difficult to host any domestic cricket. It looks like Ganguly might have sent out his letter prematurely and given state associations and players false hope.
Not Possible To Create Multiple Bio-Bubbles
In order to host these domestic tournaments, the state associations will have to create bio-bubbles similar to what the IPL franchises are doing in the UAE. Given the fact that there are 37 Ranji teams and matches scheduled all across India, it is going to be a very difficult task to create a bio-bubble and follow strict protocols.
This is one of the main reasons why the BCCI is looking to call of the season and look for a new start in 2021.