Hyderabad: Several important matters will come up for discussion when the BCCI conducts its special general meeting today (Saturday). One of the most significant one is likely to be on the unfinished IPL.
Sourav Ganguly, President of the BCCI and former Indian captain, had recently stated that if the IPL remains incomplete, it could result in losses of up to Rs.2500 crores for all the parties involved. That is an amount which no organisation can afford to lose.
So one of the most important thing on the agenda will be to formulate a feasible Plan B to salvage the IPL. It will be a difficult job since finding a vacant slot for the remaining half of the IPL could be tricky. The BCCI will have to look at possibilities outside India. There is always the UAE which has hosted the tournament earlier and has the capability and the know how to be able to do it again.
However, several foreign players will not be able to take part in the tournament even if it is completed. Ashley Giles, Managing Director of England’s men’s cricket team had categorically stated earlier that England will not release players for the remainder of the IPL. So now the IPL teams will have to redraw their battle plans if and when the IPL resumes.
Another important point will be the conduct of the T20 World Cup which is scheduled to be held in India in October and November. Nine venues across India including Hyderabad had been selected to host the tournament. But now with the second wave of COVID creating chaos all over the country and huge numbers of positive cases and deaths coupled with abysmal shortage of vaccines being reported daily in the media, that tournament too has come under a cloud.
So should the World Cup too be shifted out of India then? This has to be deliberated upon and a decision must be taken as soon as possible on this matter. Because the grounds will have to be handed over to the ICC and appropriate bio bubble protocols and quarantine rules and regulations will have to be put in place well before the tournament is to begin.
It has to be kept in mind that it will be not just the tournament itself but also the warm up matches that will have to be conducted before the event gets underway. Whatever decision is made, the BCCI and the ICC will have to work together very closely to make the tournament a success.
Understandably, India is not keen to lose the opportunity to host the tournament but the practical aspects will have to be given due consideration. Fool proof plans will have to be drawn up. The prestigious event should not run into rough weather and be truncated like the IPL. That would make the BCCI as well as India the laughing stock of the entire world.
The third point which is likely to come up is the domestic season in India which is scheduled to begin in September. But there too uncertainty has cropped up due to the second wave. The domestic season involving senior and junior level tournaments will be dependent upon the situation that will prevail in the next few months.
If the domestic season is again cancelled or truncated, then the players and support staff connected with the game may hope that the BCCI will announce some sort of compensation. Several hundred players and staff all over India are dependent upon the game for their income and the BCCI may deliberate upon this point as well. So these important decisions may be resolved one way or another in the meeting on Saturday.
Abhijit Sen Gupta is a seasoned journalist who writes on Sports and various other subjects.