It's time for BCCI to start planning for the year ahead

Fed up with the delay on part of the International Cricket Council (ICC) to share a final word on this year's T20 World Cup, and unable to figure if the delay to make the said announcement has been deliberate or otherwise, the BCCI has decided to go ahead with its plans on hosting the Indian Premier League (IPL).

The BCCI wants to go ahead with the money-spinning T20 league, irrespective of when or not the statement from the ICC arrives on the T20 World Cup. As reported by TOI earlier, a tentative window is being drawn up.

"The year started on a horrible note and there's been no relief on any front. But as time goes by, we need to take things head-on and ensure that we remain prepared for any eventuality. Cricket is no different. It is time for the BCCI to start planning for the year ahead," BCCI treasurer Arun Dhumal said.

The young office-bearer, who came on-board in October last year, when the BCCI members were taking baby steps back into the game's administration post a three-year-long hiatus, says the world of sport is making a return through domestic leagues, by embracing the new normal, globally.

"The NBA is beginning in the US in a protected zone. The English Premier League (EPL) is on and so are the FA Cup matches. Bundesliga was the first to show the way. Even Australia's domestic rugby league is about to begin. What BCCI is talking about is the need to make contingency plans from September," Dhumal explained.

"So, what are we witnessing here? Domestic leagues are in focus while the Olympics and the World Cups are taking a back seat. That's because local leagues don't depend on too many external factors. Revenues are more localised; gate receipts aren't such a huge concern and local leagues can be trimmed and planned to suit particular windows. They're also television-friendly because they can be adjusted to suit local prime time TV viewership," he added.

The BCCI strongly believes that it has already lost a lot of time because of delay in certain announcements (read: ICC). The stakeholders in Indian cricket are now convinced that they cannot wait for others to decide when and what India should be doing.

"Those announcements and outcomes are not in our hands. The T20 World Cup, for instance, is being postponed so let the announcement come when it has to," Dhumal said.

TOI had reported earlier, quoting Dhumal as well as the IPL's governing council chairman Brijesh Patel that the IPL may be planned for a window between September (last week), all of October and early November. Dhumal's comments now confirm that those plans are being put in motion right now, irrespective of the ICC's delay.


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