IPL 2020: BCCI, Franchises Loggerhead Over Starting Dates
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and all the eight Indian Premier League teams are in a logjam over the starting dates of the 13th season of the IPL. It was earlier reported that the IPL will begin from March 21 and it would end by the second week of May. As the Indian board didn’t want to host the IPL matches in the sapping heat of May, it wants the cash-rich tournament to end in the second week of the month.
However, the IPL window is fixed for April and May. As the foreign players will on their national duties in the last week of March, the franchises don’t want the tournament to begin in the last week of March. Players from Australia, England, New Zealand, and Sri Lanka will be busy for their national teams. Consequently, the schedule of the tournament is not yet out.
It would be interesting to note the final decision.
“If the board waits for all players to arrive then it has to push it forward by another week, which will affect a whole lot of things,” said a BCCI official. “The franchises’ demands are understandable. They might not have their best players available for at least a match if we begin on March 28, which is a Saturday. But if we have to wait for all players to arrive, then we are talking about April 1, which happens to be a Wednesday. The chances of making it a grand spectacle in terms of a full house is less.”
Meanwhile, one of the officials said that the idea should be to have the best players play in the tourney. Getting the crowds should not be an issue as IPL has a huge fan base.
“The idea is to have the best players available. So when the window is there, why not make use of it? Weekday or not, getting crowds shouldn’t be a problem,” said one official.
On the other hand, Star Sports, the tournament’s broadcasters are keen to start the match from 7 or 7:30 pm as the viewership had taken a downward slope after 11 pm on weekdays. However, at the same time, one of the officials raised a point that 8 pm start will be ideal as the people would be able to turn to the stadium after finishing their work.
“On a weekday, fan turnout isn’t huge if high-profile sides don’t play,” said another franchise official. “Starting at 8pm is ideal because fans will have time to finish their work and get to the stadium. It makes a huge difference. Even though dates can be adjusted here and there, timing is non-negotiable for franchises.”
Thus, it would be interesting to note when the schedule of the IPL will be revealed.
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