India needs to find a way to safely conduct the World T20 event in October


BCCI, Indian cricket’s governing body, announced a few hours ago that the current edition of IPL has been postponed with immediate effect. The official statement merely said that the governing body does not want to compromise the safety of players and support staff. Separately, media reports indicated the number of players who have tested positive for the presence of the novel coronavirus has increased since yesterday, triggering an emergency meeting that led to the announcement.

It won’t be easy to conclude the current edition of IPL at a later date as there doesn’t appear to be a slot available in the crowded annual cricket calendar. Moreover, a new complication this year is that some players are struggling to cope with mental challenges of spending long periods in a secure bubble. For BCCI, however, the biggest challenge will be to ensure that the men’s T20 World Cup which is scheduled to begin in India in October is not shifted to another location. This is not in BCCI’s control as everything depends on how the trajectory of Covid evolves.

ICC, cricket’s international governing body, is likely to start working on an alternate plan as the T20 championship is the year’s most important event. But BCCI, on its part, should keep working on plans that will allow for smooth conduct of the tournament. It is important to host the World T20 championship both for the Indian cricket fan and financial health of Indian cricket that generates a livelihood for a number of people. If India’s central and state governments get their act together in fighting Covid, India will be able to play host in October-November.

Read also: IPL 2021 called off for now, BCCI says players being sent back home

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