The BCCI announcement means that the clash between Ranji Trophy champions Saurashtra and Rest of India will not take place. (Photo Credit: Twitter)
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has suspended the remainder of the Indian domestic cricket season over the spread of the coronavirus pandemic. This announcement has resulted in the Irani Trophy, which was to have been played between Saurashtra, the Ranji Trophy champions and Rest of India has now been suspended due to the coronavirus. In a statement by the BCCI, it said, "Senior Women's One-Day Knockout, Vizzy Trophy, Senior Women's One-Day Challenger, Women's Under 19 One-Day knockout, Women’s Under 19 T20 League, Super League and knockout, Women's Under 19 T20 Challenger Trophy, Women's Under 23 knockout, Women’s Under 23 One-Day Challenger have been put on hold till further notice."
The announcement has robbed the chance for Saurashtra to go for double glory as they were preparing to take on Rest of India in the Irani Trophy clash. The Irani Trophy is the final first-class match of the Indian domestic season and it involves the winner of the Ranji Trophy taking on the Rest of India side in a neutral venue. Saurashtra won the Ranji Trophy for the first time in their independent history as they defeated Bengal thanks to a first innings lead.
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) met with the Indian Premier League franchisees in the governing council meeting in Mumbai on Saturday. The meeting was called in the backdrop of the 2020 Indian Premier League getting postponed to April 15 due to the coronavirus pandemic that has wrecked sporting calendars the world over. Following the declaration of the coronavirus being a pandemic by the World Health Organisation (WHO), the government of India suspended all the visas except diplomatic and officials from the United Nations. In India, there have been two deaths and more than 80 positive COVID-19 cases, resulting in a government directive to shut the fans out of sporting events to avoid large gatherings. COVID-19 has resulted in more than 5,000 deaths globally.
The 2020 Indian Premier League is under a cloud due to the coronavirus pandemic. (Image credit: Twitter)
In the wake of the postponment, there are several calls that the IPL governing council meeting had to undertake. With the IPL now potentially played in a five-week period, the broadcasters and the franchisees had some decisions to take. According to a BCCI insider who was in the know about the developments in the meeting, he said the prospect of holding the IPL outside of India was not discussed at all as the pandemic has wrecked all sporting events in the world.
With the Indian Premier League now postponed to April 15, there is a speculation that if things fall into place and all the visa restrictions are lifted, the IPL would be played from April 16 to June 5. Initially, this edition of the IPL had featured only six double headers all on Sunday. The host broadcasters and players were not in favour of playing games at 4 PM due to a combination of low ratings and the heat factor taking a toll on the health of the players. There is a problem even if the IPL is held beyond May. The original date of the final was supposed to be May 24 but if the IPL is extended beyond May, than the England players might not be available as they have to prepare for the series against the West Indies which will be played on June 4.