While all the cricket bodies across the globe are cancelling or postponing their bilateral tours and domestic tournaments due to the fear of corona virus pandemic, the Sri Lankan cricket board has made an unusual request to the Board of Cricket control in India( BCCI) to go ahead as planned earlier to tour the island nation in mid july for the limited overs series.
SLC wants to go ahead with the tour
As per the report published in ‘The Island', Sri Lanka Cricket has sent an e-mail to BCCI, requesting the possibility of resuming bilateral series later in July. Virat Kohli-led India are set to tour the Island Nation in mid-July for three ODIs and three T20 internationals. But the players would have to follow strict quarantine rules and the series might take place behind closed doors considering the safety of fans.
But BCCI feels it will be near impossible to go ahead with the tour. Earlier today a BCCI official said that while it is still some time away, it looks almost impossible that the Indian team can travel to Sri Lanka for a limited-overs series as early as July.
“I would say it is close to impossible at present. Firstly, we need to take one step at a time in the current scenario and you do realise that some of our players are stuck in Mumbai and Bengaluru – two zones which are highly affected by the pandemic.”
“But keeping in mind how efficiently the government has looked to fight the battle against the pandemic, I doubt we will be in a position to travel outside the country by mid-July. The BCCI will obviously try to honour all its commitments, if not now, then at a later date which suits both boards involved.”
Safety and Domestic cricket is the first priority
Looking at the current scenarios, safety looks to be the first priority for the BCCI. Also, to get cricketers in the red zone to come out and travel to a green zone is currently not allowed. So, if the government does in the near future allow that, they'll look to see if they can then start domestic cricket.
“Domestic cricket is the way forward at present, ” said a BCCI official.
Sri Lanka ready to host the IPL
Interestingly, SLC has also shown interest to host the 13th edition of the Indian Premier League. The IPL was held in South Africa in 2009 and in UAE in 2014 due to the general elections in India.
Recently former Aussie batsman Mathew Hayden also supported this move. He said that if it's not possible to stage the tournament in India, it can be held in a nation like Sri Lanka where a city like Colombo has three or four international venues, provided all safety measures are taken.
But an IPL now seems likely only in the October-November window with the World T20 almost set to be postponed.