Amid the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, the cricketing calendar has received a major jolt. Various boards are furiously working out on revising their schedules with a view of getting the game back on track – with or without spectators. The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) also had to postpone the Indian Premier League (IPL 2020) for an indefinite period. And now with cricket resuming, former Australia cricketer Matthew Hayden has suggested going ahead with the T20 blitz without foreign cricketers.
Meanwhile, the 13th season of the T20 blitz was scheduled to commence from March 29. However, BCCI had to postpone it to April 14 after the first lockdown. And with no signs of improvement, the Sourav Ganguly-led panel had to defer the tournament for an indefinite period.
However, BCCI didn’t rule out all the chances of hosting IPL 2020. They are keenly looking at the Future Tour Programs after the lockdown ends to decide on the future course of actions. Amid all the speculations, Matthew Hayden has urged BCCI to go ahead with the competition in Sri Lanka without overseas cricketers.
“Certainly the IPL could take exist without foreign players. I think it would be a product that is being compromised naturally because foreign players do add a lot to the IPL. They raise the level of awareness and excitement among fans,” Hayden said to IANS.
Getting nations together has in fact made IPL the fun that it has been. But in conditions like this, it could go on without foreign players and it should go on if all health issues have been uncompromised and the game can proceed in clean stadiums,” he added.
Notably, Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) has already offered to host IPL 2020 if BCCI follows the governments directive on coronavirus pandemic. Along with SLC, UAE is also keen to host the mega event. However, BCCI is yet to take a call on it.