India were supposed to be hosing the IPL 2020; that no longer looks possible as the IPL window has now closed. International cricket has come to a standstill from March 15 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
India Looking At Sri Lanka Tour
The good news for Indian cricket fans is that they might get to see action very soon. The BCCI is looking to resume cricketing action with a bilateral tour of Sri Lanka in July 2020. There are on-going discussions about a 3 match ODI series and a 3 match T20 series to get things moving.
The Sri Lanka Cricket Board had approached the BCCI about a potential bilateral series that will take place behind closed doors. The BCCI has entertained the idea but said the final decision would be subject to what the central government decides as India has currently closed its borders.
Should the central government give approval, the BCCI will have to very little time to pull of this bilateral series. A short tour to Sri Lanka should not be a big deal for the BCCI to handle under most circumstances but given the fact that the Indian cricket team has not trained for over two months, they will have to look at player health and fitness before finalizing a team.
Ravi Shastri Open To Bilateral Series
Indian coach Shastri has thrown his support behind a bilateral series to get the season started again. He is open to traveling as well as getting other teams to tour India and play in closed stadiums.
The head coach said the way forward in light of COVID-19 is to restrict the bilateral series to just one or two locations so that the teams do not have to travel much. In normal circumstances, most cricket boards tend to organize matches across the country and require teams to travel extensively.
Shastri said that at the moment the Indian team was not looking at international tournaments such as the upcoming T20 World Cup in October as the logistics of hosting such a huge event with players and fans traveling from countries all over the world seems farfetched for now. The best way forward is a bilateral series or for the 2020 IPL to take place.
While foreign players from different countries would have to fly in to India for the 2020 IPL, Shastri said the IPL could still be restricted to just one or two cities and have a closed door policy. He also pointed out that it was important for domestic cricket to resume in India as there are hundreds of players not getting the practice or training they need.
Ganguly Rules Out 5 India Tests In Australia
BCCI President Sourav Ganguly is looking ahead to the big series in December against Australia in Australia.
There were rumours that both boards were discussing extending the test series from 4 matches to 5. However, Ganguly has ruled out a 5 test series. He claimed that the 14-day quarantine that the players would be subject to would be too long.
The BCCI has lost a lot of money during the last two months due to no cricket being played. Ganguly and his team will have to come up with a new schedule once COVID-19 restrictions are lifted. The team should slowly ease back into the swing of things; but also play the big series to bring in much needed revenue for the board.