By Baidurjo Bhose
New Delhi, Dec 21 (IANS) With the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) looking at a March 28 start to the 2020 edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL), franchises are losing sleep as two high-profile international series is set to be on at that time – Australia play New Zealand in three T20Is while England and Sri Lanka play two Test matches.
Speaking to IANS, a senior official of one of the franchises said that with the official calendar not out yet, they were keeping fingers crossed that the IPL Governing Council will go back to the old format of having double headers through the tournament and start around April 1.
“See, while the Australia-New Zealand series ends with the final T20I being played on March 29, the second Test of the series between England and Sri Lanka technically ends only on March 31. In such a scenario, you start the season minus your big players and that isn’t a happy occasion. If we do start from April 1, the scenario looks so much better. Hopefully, the IPL GC will see what we are speaking about makes for a consideration,” the official said.
An official of another franchise said that at least four franchises had raised the issue during the briefing on the eve of the auction. “See, it is a scenario which the franchises realised isn’t very favourable and the matter was in fact debated by around 4 to 5 of the teams present as nobody wants to start on the back foot. But then, we can only hope. You might see an appeal from some of us as we still have around a couple of weeks to go before the calendar is released,” the official said.
An official of one of the franchises which bore the brunt of their overseas players going away for national duty last season as well said that it has almost become something that is a constant thorn.
“Last year, our guys went away in the business end and this time we might have to start the season without our top four overseas players. This is something that the IPL GC should be kind enough to look into as we would love to start on the front foot and set the momentum early into the season,” the official told IANS.
It is on the IPL GC to take a final call on whether they will go ahead with the March 28-May 24 window or start from April 1 and look at more double headers in the season.