Sourav Ganguly confirms IPL 2021 window and cricket resumption in India
First Published 7, Nov 2020, 11:04 PM
The 2020 edition of the Indian Premier League is being held in the United Arab Emirates, owing to the delicate situation surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic in India. India has not hosted any competitive cricket since March this year, as the pandemic hit in.
The ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL) 2020 is in its business-end stage in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), as the tournament is being held in the gulf owing to the harsh circumstances surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic in India. Meanwhile, questions are already being raised on the upcoming edition in 2021, when and where it will be held.
In the same light, president of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), Sourav Ganguly, has confirmed that the tournament would be held in five months, between April-May. He also confirmed that as of now, India is the preferred venue, while the UAE was a one-off arrangement for this edition.
“Yeah, absolutely. April, May we’ll have another one [IPL 2021 season]. The UAE was only for the IPL. We will host England in India. We will host the domestic cricket in India. Ranji Trophy, we will create bio-bubble and we will do it,” Ganguly was quoted as saying to India Today.
“We’ll be fine. ISL starting in November, in Goa, we’ll be fine. The scare, that is not there anymore and the IPL has helped a lot. [Have taken ] 16 Covid tests (laughs), so far being good. We’ll see once the final finishes [about the celebrations of the board for pulling off the IPL]. We have got to work very hard to get Jay drink, he doesn’t drink at all. I don’t drink at all, but we’ll see,” added Ganguly.
Ganguly also acclaimed the standard and quality of T20 cricket, which the IPL has set now, terming it the best in the world. “Yeah absolutely, it’s the quality of cricket [in the IPL], it’s the madness about cricket in this country. It’s the fans who actually make it successful. And, the competition. It’s the quality of player, you go around and see the leagues in the world, and I respect them, but this is different [the IPL],” he asserted.
“This is...you see a Pollard, you see a Pollard turning up in the Caribbean Premier League and a Pollard turning up in the IPL - it’s two different kettle of fish. His captaincy has been outstanding for Mumbai [Indians] without Rohit Sharma. You see AB de Villiers at this age [of 36],” he further added.
“See the competition, the owners are obsessed with their teams. They are just obsessed with their IPL team. I remember when this COVID was going on. I used to get calls from the owners, ‘we must do the IPL’ and ‘how can IPL not happen’, but I said ‘we have to look at the coronavirus’. Still, he said ‘no no everything will be fine, but IPL has to happen, we’ll die without cricket’ - so it’s that intensity which is remarkable,” he opined.
Ganguly also spoke on the fact that the Women’s T20 Challenge is set to expand further and would be a seven-eight team affair within a couple of years. “Yeah, India, I think we focus on every cricket, whether it’s men’s cricket, women’s cricket, junior cricket, under-16 cricket because infrastructure is very, very important and every level of cricket needs to be looked at so that the team at the top becomes the best. And, that’s why India keeps producing talent because their under-19 structure and under-16 structure is also at as good,” he reckoned.
“Women’s cricket all around the world has taken off. You see the women’s final in Australia this year. They had 80,000 people at the MCG which is as good as having a men’s final and India has done well where two back to back finals in England they lost and they lost at the MCG this year, so it’s very important that we continue with the talent. It’ll only get bigger. At the present moment, there are only four teams in the women’s IPL, and I believe that in a couple of years time, we are good enough to have a separate IPL with seven teams, eight teams like the franchise-based teams for the women as well,” concluded Ganguly.