Sourav Ganguly. (TOI Photo)
NEW DELHI: The Indian cricket board (BCCI) is going ahead with its plans to stage the IPL later this year despite the International Cricket Council (ICC) taking its time to decide the fate of the ICC T20 World Cup in October.
In a letter to the state associations (in possession of TOI) on Wednesday, BCCI president Sourav Ganguly has stated that the board will shortly decide on the future course of action. BCCI is willing to host the event, that is critical to its revenue, in empty stadiums.
“The BCCI is working on all possible options to ensure that we are able to stage the IPL this year, even if it means playing the tournament in empty stadiums. The fans, franchisees, players, broadcasters, sponsors and all other stakeholders are keenly looking forward to the possibility of IPL being hosted this year,” Ganguly’s letter read.
“Recently a lot of players, both from India and other countries, participating in IPL have also shown their keenness on being a part of this year IPL. We are optimistic and the BCCI will shortly decide on the future course of action on this,” the letter added.
The BCCI’s planning has been hampered by the indecision over the T20 World Cup. BCCI was waiting for ICC’s meeting on Wednesday to find out if they got a clear window for its home season, starting with IPL.
TOI has learnt that the standard operating procedures (SOPs) for resumption of cricket in India have been finalized but the office-bearers are yet to approve it. The SOPs will mainly target at resuming cricket at the local level. The letter further reads: “Essentially this SOP is being made with a view of providing our Members with a standard set of guidelines which will help the Associations to resume cricket in their respective areas. The BCCI has engaged medical specialists for the drafting of this SOP.”
Changes in format of domestic cricket
Ganguly also talked about the possible changes in the format of domestic cricket. With the upcoming season likely to be cramped and truncated, BCCI is working on altering its domestic season and the details would be shared in a couple of weeks. “Moving ahead, the BCCI is in the process of planning the domestic competitions for the next cricketing season. We are working on various formats and options in our endeavour to ensure that various domestic tournaments are held, they stay competitive and participation is feasible. The BCCI will come up with more details on this front over the next couple of weeks,” Ganguly said in the letter.
TOI understands that the board could go back to the zonal system in domestic cricket and could do away with a few tournaments in certain formats to accommodate maximum cricket, including the IPL. “The zonal system would mean less travel and it will make it easier to build a controlled environment,” a BCCI official told TOI.