With the International Cricket Council postponing the T20 World Cup, the stage is set for the BCCI to host the hugely popular Indian Premier League (IPL). The planning for the tournament to be held outside India is already on the way and reports have signalled that the United Arab Emirates (UAE) is the most likely destination.
The IPL’s biggest potential is in it attracting the best global talent. But in these times of the Covid-19 pandemic, the BCCI has the onerous task of meticulously planning the event. New Zealand captain Kane Williamson, who plays for the Sunrisers Hyderabad, has said that he is excited at the prospect of playing in the IPL but wants more clarity on the plans to host the tournament safely.
IPL 2020 – FULL COVERAGE
“By all accounts the IPL, they’re looking to host that tournament which is a fantastic tournament to be a part of and attracts such an incredible audience,” Williamson was quoted as saying on the sidelines of a New Zealand training session at Bay Oval in Mount Maunganui on Wednesday by ESPNCricinfo.
“And throughout this time there’s been a natural lack of content so there is a real drive to see that happen and see it happen safely, which is first and foremost. It’s a shame to see the World Cup be postponed but I suppose it’s the nature of what we’re faced with in the current climate but exciting at the potential opportunity individually to see some cricket come on to the horizon. But I think a lot of people will be looking forward to that opportunity if at all it goes ahead safely,” the Kiwi skipper added.
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Reports suggest the tournament will be played in the window between September 26 and November 7 after which India will be leaving for the series in Australia.
Williamson has said that a lot will depend on how things are organised and the information needs to flow out to the players for them to take a decision on participating in the IPL
“Like I said, considering what it actually looks like where it is and all the details that come with it, to play in the IPL is always an amazing thing so, absolutely, it will be great to play in it and be a part of it. But there’s a lot of details to come through before any final decisions will be made. It will be nice to know more.
“[There’s] nothing concrete, with the postponement [of the T20 World Cup] announced only a day or two ago, no doubt there’s a lot of organising that needs to be done or any sort of decision is made, and I guess they are wanting to make sure that things are planned before speaking to players with any certainty. Like a lot of things, even with the season ahead, there’s a lot of speculation and hope for a lot of cricket, much like there’s hope for the IPL to go ahead. But at this point in time it’s sort of coming back after a break, easing back into cricket and hope that these things will happen,” Williamson, who guided Sunrisers to the 2018 IPL final said.
Williamson further highlighted the need for proper planning, so that everyone’s safety is kept as top priority.
“It’s such an incredible time and having to consider these things,” Williamson said of the situation. “Nobody would have thought in their lifetime that you would have to think like this and those things do run through your mind. Everybody perhaps has a slightly different view and perspective on it depending on their situation and their own ideas but from my perspective, if the safety was ensured – I know as a country it’s been incredible the way we’ve been able to handle it but we’re a small part of the world and to a large extent we’re all in it together.
“You certainly want to see it improve so much worldwide and it’s so much more of a challenge with countries that have huge populations but in terms of the IPL as an isolated event, they’re looking at the best options to host it in a safe place where people can be quarantined much like you’re seeing with other sports around the world. Like I said, there’s a lot of planning still to be done to make sure that happens and we only know what we know and that’s no different from what you’re hearing,” he said.