On Wednesday, the BCCI president Sourav Ganguly announced the cancellation of the Asia Cup T20, which was scheduled to be held in September, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Originally, Pakistan had the hosting rights, and was scheduled for September in the United Arab Emirates, but due to the alarming situations of the pandemic, Sri Lanka has become the frontrunners to stage the tournament.
“Asia Cup cancel ho chuka hai, jo September me tha (Asia Cup, which was to be held in September, has been cancelled),” Ganguly told ‘Sports Tak’ in an Instagram live session.
The Pakistan Cricket Board did confirm that they have agreed to host the event in 2022. PCB chief Ehsan Mani said the decision is made due to the COVID-19 current situation. “The Asian Cricket Council is planning to organise it next year, as it is not safe to host it this year due to the worsening pandemic conditions. We have swapped the event with Sri Lanka this year because it is one of the least affected (in South Asia) from the virus,” the veteran administrator told PTI.
In the same show, Ganguly was asked about when the Indian team will be seen next on the ground. “It is difficult to say anything at this moment, as nobody knows when the COVID situation will improve and when the country will come out from this emergency. Our preparations are up to the mark, but we can only implement them on the ground. Stadiums are open but players cannot practice there because of the high possibilities of getting infected,” said Ganguly.
“We can only begin when the situation improves and right now we are not in a hurry. Safety of players is of utmost importance. Well, it is tough when there is no cricket for five-six months, it is a crisis.”
Ganguly, who celebrated his 48th birthday on Wednesday, said that there is a hope that the Indian Premier League will be organised if the T20 World Cup gets cancelled. “We are trying each and every possibility to stage the IPL. It is very important for Indian cricket. We will try to host in India across 4-5 venues. If this is not possible, then having it overseas might be an option,” said Ganguly.
With the T20 World Cup in October-November, which was going to be held in Australia, most likely won’t be executed, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Due to the cancellation of the Asia Cup, the BCCI might have the chance of a fully-fledged IPL in the same window.
Ganguly said, “The T20 World Cup cancellation might happen soon because all the countries are asking for a direction from ICC. We’ll know the result by mid-July. My gut-feeling is saying it’s tough.”
Ganguly also said if the T20 World Cup in Australia is cancelled, the BCCI will put all its efforts in executing the IPL.