T20 World Cup and IPL on SGM agenda

BCCI set to discuss upcoming season, scheduling issues on May 29

In a bid to chart out contingency plans for the T20 World Cup and the Indian Premier League, the BCCI has convened a Special General Meeting (SGM) of its affiliates on May 29.

The single-point agenda of the virtual meeting, as per the notice circulated among Board members on Tuesday night, is a “discussion on the upcoming cricket season in view of the pandemic situation”.

India is scheduled to stage the T20 World Cup in October-November. But after the forced postponement of the IPL because of breaches in the biosecure bubbles amid a surge in cases in the country, the International Cricket Council (ICC) is likely to push the BCCI to move the tournament to the United Arab Emirates, already shortlisted as a back-up venue.

With the ICC set to finalise the venue and fixtures for the marquee event during its annual conference in June, The Hindu understands that the BCCI hierarchy, with secretary Jay Shah leading from the front, feels members should be taken into confidence ahead of the conference.

“Since there is no resolution listed in the agenda, something that is a convention for any SGM, in all likelihood, the office-bearers will be authorised to take last-minute decisions on behalf of the Board,” said a seasoned State association official.

The SGM will likely formalise the back-up plan should ICC members decline to travel to India for the tournament.

IPL conundrum

The SGM may also authorise the office-bearers to decide the fate of IPL-14, suspended after 29 of the 60 matches were completed.

With the international calendar hardly having any breathing room, the SGM is likely to be presented with options: staging IPL in the UAE in September, sandwiched between India’s tour of England and the T20 World Cup; hosting it in England in September after the conclusion of the Test series, a remote possibility; playing it in the UAE without England and Australia cricketers immediately after T20 World Cup final in November; abandoning the edition and revising the contract with the broadcaster and other stakeholders.

It is also understood that the BCCI may propose bilateral T20I series against South Africa (as part of the FTP) and Sri Lanka in UAE in September as the last leg of preparation for the T20 World Cup, should the window for IPL be deemed unrealistic.

With the focus on rescheduling the IPL, the domestic season may be left in limbo yet again. Some of the State associations may seek clarity, since the apex council in April had discussed the possibility of starting the domestic season in September.

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