Moving the matches to southern states during the monsoon and curtailing the number of matches could be the best way to get on with the Indian Premier League, according to former Indian skipper Dilip Vengsarkar.
Talking to The Free Press Journal on Monday, Vengsarkar, who has been unabashedly vocal when it comes to the IPL, said September-October would be the ideal time for the IPL to get underway but Mumbai could miss out because of the rain.
“Everyone wants the T20 World Cup scheduled to be held in Australia to be postponed, but I find there is no need to do so, as the IPL could be held before the mega event,” said Vengsarkar, while adding that Australia and New Zealand are much better off compared to the other countries affected by Covid-19. So the T20 World Cup can go ahead.
Emphasising the need for the IPL, which generates finance for all cricket in the country, Vengsarkar said, “There is no doubt that the revenue generated through this championship not only funds state associations, but also gives exposure to lesser-known players, especially in our country."
The IPL restriction limiting the number overseas players to just four ensures that many Indians get a chance to play. “This is one major aspect, as our boys will get to play the game at a world-class level and rub shoulders with world-class players. However, it all depends on the call taken by the government, allowing foreign players to travel here and the Covid conditions prevailing at that time," opined Vengsarkar.
The IPL has turned the fortunes of cricket in India, with many new stadiums having come up and most importantly, players from rural areas have made names for themselves, getting a chance to come knocking at the selectors' door.
“Gone are the days when youngsters came to metros to claim a place in the Indian side, as the IPL has opened the doors for players from every nook and corner of the country to stake their claim to an Indian cap,” said Vengsarkar.
The Board for Control of Cricket in India (BCCI) is pulling out all the stops to put things on track for conducting the cash-rich event. Shifting matches abroad or to the Southern states of the country, due to monsoon and also curtailing the numbers of matches (home and away) are options under consideration.
If it is not held this year, the road ahead for Indian cricket will be one of pain and hardship and the BCCI could be hit with losses, which would be a big blow to the game in general.