The blueprint to conduct the Indian Premier League (IPL) amidst rising cases of coronavirus will be topmost on the agenda of BCCI’s Apex Council, which will meet virtually on Friday. Among the 11-point agenda, which is in possession of PTI, is a discussion on domestic cricket season, which is likely to be a curtailed one considering the rapidly rising COVID-19 case load in the country. The third point covers rejigging the Futures Tours & Programme (FTP) of the men’s cricket team with three series (away white ball tours of Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe and home series vs England) already cancelled. The team last played in March.
The Council will also discuss the way forward for the IPL, which stands indefinitely postponed due to the health crisis. The BCCI has zeroed in on a September-early November window for the league.
“Obviously, all options need to be explored. First option is India but you don’t how the situation will be. Obviously, there is UAE and Sri Lanka but taking out the IPL will increase the overheads. I think the president also recently said that,” a senior BCCI official told PTI on condition of anonymity.
“I don’t think we are still in a position to fix venues in a situation which is so fluid. But the plans and the tentative window needs to be ready so that once ICC makes a formal announcement of T20 World Cup (scheduled for October-November) cancellation next week, we can proceed,” the official said.
With the ICC Board Meeting scheduled next Monday, the issue of getting tax exemption certificate from the government in order to host the 2021 T20 World Cup is also high on agenda.
The tax exemption for the ICC events has been a bone of contention and BCCI has been given time till December to get the necessary clearances from the central government.
As far as India’s FTP is concerned, the agenda states that the September white-ball series versus England could be rescheduled in February following the Test series.
In case BCCI wants to squeeze in the white ball games, it could well mean that the five-Test series would be curtailed to include six white ball games (3 ODIs and 3 T20Is).
The postponed white ball tours of Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe also need to be rescheduled.
One of the biggest headache for BCCI is the country’s domestic structure which includes, senior men, U-23 men, junior boys (U-19 and U-16), senior women, U-23 women and U-19 girls, constituting thousands of matches across formats.
“Obviously, the Ranji Trophy schedule needs to be tweaked. We need to discuss whether we can have Vijay Hazare, Duleep Trophy, Syed Mushtaq Ali in one go.”
“May be we have to let go one of the tournaments as considerable time would be lost. We have to fit in the junior domestic events,” said the official.
Another major issue will be apparel sponsorship as the Nike deal has come to an end. It is expected that BCCI will follow the process of inviting tenders from potential bidders.
Some of the other issues include discussions on Rahul Johri’s replacement for CEO’s post, grants and subsidies to North Eastern states, NCA operations, recruitment of BCCI staff and administrative mess in Bihar Cricket Association.
Agenda for Friday
1) IPL- Way forward
2) Domestic cricket schedules
3) FTP- Rescheduling of the England home series for February, 2021
4) Tax exemption certificates mandatory for hosting the T20 World Cup in India
5) NCA facility in Bengaluru
6) Extension of contract for BCCI & IPL digital platforms
7) Bihar Cricket Association”s administrative mess
8) Appointment of new staff in the BCCI
9) Procedure to appoint new CEO after Rahul Johri’s resignation
10) Payments to NE states
11) Discussion on Tender for Apparel Partnership.ani
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