With the T20 World Cup likely to be postponed, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has seemingly begun the preparations for the 13th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL). After BCCI treasurer Arun Dhumal informed last week that the board will start preparing for the T20 league, a report now suggests that a tentative schedule has also been drafted.
According to timesofindia.com, the BCCI plans to schedule the IPL between September 26-November 8 - in a 44-day period with 60 matches. The tournament is likely to take place in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), owing to increasing cases of COVID-19 in India. The final decision on the shifting of the IPL will be subject to the central government's approval.
However, the schedule reportedly hasn't received a welcoming response from the tournament's broadcasters, Star India.
Quoting 'industry sources', the report says that Star wants BCCI to run the IPL through the Diwali weekend (November 14), in a bid to attract advertisements at a time when the industry faces significant financial issues. Star wants the IPL to conclude on the Diwali weekend, the report says.
The BCCI, on the other hand, is bound by its commitment to Cricket Australia for the tour Down Under, which is scheduled to begin on December 3. To ensure ample time for preparation and quarantine purposes, the BCCI intends to travel to Australia merely a day after the conclusion of the IPL i.e. November 10 (as per the tentative schedule, in this case).
Star bought the IPL broadcast rights in 2018 with a bid of Rs 16,437 crore. It pays the BCCI Rs 3,500 to Rs 4,000 crore through a five-years rights cycle.
The official dates for the IPL are expected to be announced after the formal announcement on the fate of T20 World Cup, which is expected to be made on Monday when the ICC board meets in a virtual conference.