Governing Council chairman of Indian Premier League, Bijesh Patel has said the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has been continuing its contingency plans for IPL 2020. Patel said the governing body is looking at the September-October window to host the IPL.
IPL 2020 was scheduled to get underway on March 29 but the T20 tournament was postponed indefinitely due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The 13th edition of IPL missed the April-May window but Bijresh Patel said the organisers are confident of hosting the IPL later this year.
Brijesh Patel, speaking to indiatoday.in, said the BCCI is waiting for the International Cricket Council (ICC) to take a call on the T20 World Cup, which is slated to be held from October 18 to November 15 in Australia.
While speculations are rife that the T20 World Cup is set to be postponed, the ICC, after its board meeting on June 10, said it will wait until July to take a final call on the 16-team world tournament.
“Yeah (chances of hosting IPL in 2020), we are looking at the September-October window,” Brijesh Patel said.
“Yeah, we are continuing the planning. It all depends on the World Cup. We will have a decision after the ICC decision. We will go ahead with the plans after the ICC decision comes.”
BCCI president Sourav Ganguly confirmed on Thursday that the apex body of Indian cricket is ready to host the IPL behind closed doors and is working on “all possible options”. In a letter addressed to the state bodies, Ganguly said he is optimistic that the BCCI will be able to decide a future course of action soon.
‘BCCI open to hosting IPL in empty stadiums’
Bijresh Patel, meanwhile, said India is the first choice venue to host the IPL but the BCCI will take into account the Covid-19 situation during September and October and consult with the government before taking a final call.
Only recently, the UAE cricket board had offered to host the postponed IPL this year.
“It depends on how the situation is. We have to consider the Covid-19 situation at that point in time. Then we will decide where to host it. India is the first preference to host the IPL,” Patel said.
Brijesh Patel did not rule out the possibility of the IPL 2020 being held across a limited number of venues. He said that the BCCI is open to playing without crowds as players’ safety is their primary concern.
However, the governing council chairman said a call on the duration of the tournament will be taken only when they are able to get clarity over the dates.