5-wk IPL as lead-up to T20 WC worth considering

Vivo IPL Logo

FORMER ENGLAND CAPTAIN and cricket pundit Michael Vaughan has added his two bits to all the speculation surrounding the permutations / combinations of holding the Indian Premier League within this calendar year. 

Taking to Twitter, Vaughan posted: “Here’s a thought .. The IPL is played for the 5 weeks leading up to the T20 World Cup in Oz .. all players use it as the great warm up for the WC .. then the WC happens .. So important for the game that the IPL takes place but also the WC.” 

Vaughan’s comment came as reaction to a post by Australia cricket journalist Peter Lalor, wherein he had earlier posted: "Here’s a thought. T20 World Cup in Oz abandoned because of obvious difficulties with players flying in. Quarantines etc. BCCI swoops and plays IPL in that Oct-Nov window. CA will let players compete knowing it needs India to tour in summer. What do you think?"

Let's take Lalor's post first. Seriously? If the ICC T20 World Cup were to be abandoned, does anyone seriously believe that the reasons for which the mega event were to be called off would be given the heave-ho when it comes to the IPL? At least SportzPower does not. Let's for argument's sake take up the possibility of "BCCI swooping in". While financial considerations obviously have their place, to speculate that in the matter of the COVID-19 pandemic, Cricket Australia would not keep public and government sensitivities uppermost requires a BIG suspension of reality (or April Fool's Day scenarios).

Now coming to Vaughan's proposition, it would mean that he is expecting a truncated 5-week IPL in the September window (World T20 is scheduled to kick off in Australia on October 18).

As PTI notes, in September, India is supposed to play the Asia Cup in the UAE, which is to be "hosted" by the Pakistan Cricket Board. After the Asia Cup, England is scheduled to come to India to play three ODIs and three T20Is. For the BCCI to cancel both commitments would be an easy call as the IPL is BCCI's most precious property. 

But, as a senior BCCI official told PTI: “September is the time when there is monsoon in India. Mumbai will be under water, there could be steady rain in Chennai. It is a decision that can’t be taken that lightly.”

That is a problem, but one that is NOT insurmountable. And there is past precedent. Take the tournament out of India - either UAE or South Africa come to mind.