Cricket Australia is looking at all possible 'creative' solutions to make the 2020-21 season happen which includes expansion of the Border-Gavaskar series at home to five games, hosting the Indian side at a hotel in Adelaide Oval, and shifting the Big Bash League in the summer. Not to forget, Australia are also slated to host the 2020 ICC World T20 tournament starting October.
CA chief Kevin Roberts said that playing against India in a single city without spectators is an option. The empty-stadium solution is also being considered for World T20 with the ICC to discuss the contingency plan for the tournament this Thursday.
“We might not generate financial returns from that event that are as significant as the international cricket season (in Australia),” Roberts told reporters in a teleconference on Tuesday.
“But what we do know is that the bigger returns from the broadcast rights around the event that are generated by the ICC are very important to all of our counterparts around the cricket world. So it’s incumbent on us to do everything possible to stage and host the T20 World Cup.”
Meanwhile, the board had to furlough 80 per cent of their staff members until end of their financial year implying that they will be left with just 20 per cent staff until end of June. CA has already incurred a $20m loss owing to the coronavirus and Robert reckons that the figures will witness a spike if the India tour is cancelled.
“If you contemplate the prospect of the international season in particular being affected, we have an issue of hundreds of millions of dollars on our hands,” Roberts said.
“So it’s very important that we do everything possible to stage the season. Whether or not there’s people at the venue ... we will explore all viable options. Fortunately we have a little bit of time to work through the different scenarios with the India series. But we’re not ruling out any possibility for that at this point in time.”
Roberts also spoke about the fuloughing with players possibly standing as the next victim.
“On one level, cricket is fortunate in terms of the time of year when the coronavirus situation hit,” Roberts said. “On another level, cricket is unfortunate in that it has hit us at the lowest point of our four-year cash cycle.”
Aussie pacer Josh Hazlewood said that Adelaide Oval would be the best possible option if India series is reduced to just one stadium.
“The bowlers and batters would probably be happy with that, it’s probably been the best cricket wicket the last four or five years,” Hazlewood said.
“It gives a bit to both batting and bowling, I wouldn’t mind it. It’s not ideal though. We want to get around to all parts of Australia and challenge ourselves on all those different wickets.”