Dubai: With uncertainty over the coronavirus pandemic looming large, all cricket boards are likely to shorten their scheduled T20 leagues or the proposed cricket series.
The Indian Premier League (IPL) may stage a shorter version of the event while the Pakistan Super League (PSL) is looking for a window this year, hoping to stage their pending knockout matches. The fate of England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB)’s 100-ball tournament also hangs in balance. The same is the case with the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) that is scheduled to begin in August. It is quite likely that the Afghanistan Premier League’s second edition could even be shelved.
Clouds of doubt loom large on whether some of the cricket board’s planned tours and proposed series will take place on time.
Suggestions are on to reduce the number of days for the IPL. It was scheduled to begin on March 29, and then postponed to begin on April 15. But with the current lockdown likely to end only by April 14, it would be impossible to start on the re-scheduled day. According to information, plans are on to stage a shorter version of the IPL even if it means cancelling a bilateral series.
The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) is very keen to complete the PSL this year at all costs. The event was called off on the day of the first semi-final match. Wasim Khan, Chief Executive of the PCB, has stated that all efforts will be put in to complete the knockout stages. “The board has identified two possible windows later this year to complete the knockout stages of the competition,” he noted.
Ticket sale for ECB’s 100-ball cricket event has now been delayed. This inaugural franchise-based league was scheduled to begin in July and conclude by early September.
The Caribbean Premier League is scheduled to take place from August 19 to September 26, but there are doubts about whether players from around the world will be willing to travel. Given that sponsors for the second edition of the Afghanistan Cricket League had backed out last year, they had hopes of staging it this year. However, in the present scenario, they may have to call off their plans.
The International Cricket Council has expressed hope that the Twenty20 World Cup will be held in Australia as scheduled between October 18 and November 15. It is likely that every cricket board will take a decision on their team’s travel plans only after consultations with their respective governments. No ICC member has asked for a change of dates for the World Cup so far.
New Zealand Cricket chief executive David White has expressed concern over this team’s travel to Bangladesh as well New Zealand A team’s tour to India. “There are obvious question marks over the Blackcaps’ visit to Bangladesh, and the New Zealand A tour to India, both scheduled to start in August. But it is too early at this point to categorically rule them out,” he remarked.