BCCI faces scheduling crunch

Apex council to finalise revised FTP amid uncertainty

July 16, 2020 02:31 am | Updated 02:31 am IST - MUMBAI

The fate of the T20 World Cup — and consequently the IPL — continues to hang in the balance. As a result, the BCCI’s apex council will have a challenging time finalising India’s revised international calendar for the remainder of the cricket season when it meets on Friday.

Ever since India’s cricket activities were brought to a standstill by the COVID-19 outbreak in March, several international assignments have been cancelled or rescheduled. While the home ODI series versus South Africa was abandoned after the first ODI in March, tours to Sri Lanka in June-July (3 ODIs, 3 T20Is) and Zimbabwe in August (3 ODIs) have been postponed. A proposed tour to South Africa for three T20Is in August has also been cancelled.

England series put off

On Tuesday, it was confirmed that India’s first home assignment of the season — the limited-overs leg of the split series against England — will not be played as per schedule in September-October. England was supposed to face India in three ODIs and three T20Is between the Asia Cup (which has been cancelled) and India’s tour of Australia for a T20I series followed by the T20 World Cup.

It is understood that the England and Wales Cricket Board and BCCI executives have been in discussions about accommodating white-ball games at the cost of one or two Tests during England’s scheduled tour for five Tests from January 2021.

All these factors, besides trying to accommodate ODIs against Afghanistan and possibly reschedule South Africa’s abandoned series, are set to be discussed on Friday. Point No. 4 of the apex council agenda states: “Discussion on finalising Team India’s FTP”.

It will be interesting to see how the BCCI attempts to honour its commitment to the broadcaster by ensuring the stipulated number of games (17) till next March.

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