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Sports

Web Desk
July 9, 2020

IPL 2020 may go ahead after all, says BCCI President Ganguly

Sports

Web Desk
Thu, Jul 09, 2020
File Photo

Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) President Sourav Ganguly has indicated that the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2020 may go ahead after all, given that the T20 World Cup is called off, and that "life and cricket should to get back to normal" amid the coronavirus pandemic as the country crossed 770,000 infections.

According to India Today report on Thursday, the IPL 2020 may be held as sources informed the publication that the Cricket Australia had advised its players to participate in the T20 series following their England tour set for September.

Ganguly told the publication that he was keen for the series to go ahead without any hindrance, especially if the International Cricket Council (ICC) called off the T20 World Cup. In addition, two other countries — Sri Lanka and the United Arab Emirates — have indicated that they would be willing to host the IPL if it is not held in India itself.

Reports that New Zealand Cricket (NZC) was interested in hosting the IPL, however, were denied after its spokesperson termed them "speculations".

India has identified more than 771,866 cases of the deadly coronavirus, as of reporting time, while close to 21,174 people have died of the respiratory illness. It was in this regard that the IPL 2020 had been called off indefinitely.

Ganguly, who has shown interest in continuing the IPL 2020 as planned, told India Today that his priority is for the series to be played in India due to the higher costs if it was moved abroad.

However, while the ICC was to announce a decision on the T20 World Cup last month, its chairperson stepped down on July 1 after four years in the office.

"Life and cricket should to get back to normal," the BCCI president was quoted as saying by the publication. However, he underscored that the IPL would not be able to go ahead if the T20 World Cup was given the green signal as India's tour to Australia in December was already cemented as part of the Future Tours Programme (FTP).

"Till the time we get clear-cut directions from the ICC about the T20 World Cup, we cannot decide anything on the IPL," Ganguly told the publication.

"So the Indian team will play its first full series in December. Asia Cup has been cancelled in September. So at the moment I cannot say when cricket will resume in India," Ganguly had told India Today.

He added that the off-season helped the Indian players after their domestic season concluded in March. "We keep hearing different things from the media but till actually it's officially not told to the board members and the countries, you don’t know what is happening.

"Whatever time we get, even if we get 35-40 days we will host it," the BCCI official said. "At this stage, I don’t think you can put your hand on heart and say that cricket will happen in these places," he added, referring to the Indian cities of Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, and Chennai, which have major teams in the IPL.

"Secondly, will it be in India. If it’s not then we think of going out, but where. Because going out becomes very expensive for the board, the franchises because of the currency conversion rates," Ganguly noted.

'No merit' in Ganguly's Asia Cup comment

Interestingly, however, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) had earlier today rejected reports of Asia Cup being cancelled after Ganguly's claim that this year’s tournament had been called off.

"Saurav Ganguly’s statement regarding the Asia Cup 2020 that it stands cancelled has no merit,” PCB Media Director Samiul Hasan was quoted as saying by Hindustan Times. "It is up to the Asian Cricket Council to decide on the fate of the tournament."

"The statements made by Sourav Ganguly have no impact on proceedings. Even if he passes comments every week, they do not hold weight or merit," Hasan had asserted.