Few days after BCCI said it is viable to the option of a truncated IPL where there will be less matches once the effect of COVID-19 virus can be brought under control, there are reports coming that it is seeking a window of 3 months between July and September to host the 13th season of Indian Premier League.
IPL was scheduled to start from 29th this month but after a meeting, it was unanimously decided that it will be suspended till 15th April and the situation would later be reassessed to take any other decision. With the novel Corona virus pandemic still growing on a larger scale day by day, the probability of IPL starting from even 15th April looks low. The chances of hosting IPL in the period of July to September isn’t free of challenges either.
Firstly, it is close to impossible to host IPL in India during that period because of the heavy monsoons. Matches will be affected every day leaving the franchise owners and fans on a bitter note. Secondly, IPL will have to take the scheduling of other cricket teams into consideration. England have a very packed cricket schedule as they start their home summer with hosting West Indies. The series starts on 4th of June. From July 3rd, they will host Australia for 6 limited overs matches. Later in the month, they will also play Pakistan and their home season ends on 15th September with 3 ODIs against Ireland.
Unlike England, Australia don’t have an extremely tight schedule. They play from 11th June and their players are likely to be available after 16th July. The problem comes with the availability of West Indian players who play a massive part in IPL by adding the Caribbean flavor. West Indies have matches from 4th of June to 16th of August while South Africa and New Zealand have a pretty moderate cricket calendar.
BCCI would have to take certain factors into consideration before planning an IPL during that period. It can be played partly in India, partly overseas or completely overseas. It can also be played without certain overseas players who would be busy with national duties but that’d affect the interests of the franchises.
India too are scheduled to play 6 limited overs matches against Sri Lanka in July but with BCCI, it can always be tweaked and adjusted for some other day. In September, India have to play Asia Cup and so authorities will have to make sure that they schedule IPL in such a way that it gets finished before that period. All is possible only if there is any sign of COVID-19 outbreak being brought under control.