Former Australia batsman and current Royal Challengers Bangalore coach Simon Katich believes that the World T20 can be postponed and the Indian Premier League can be fitted into the cricketing calendar that has gone for a toss due to the coronavirus outbreak.
“Potentially there’s a chance to host it later in the summer, like the (recent) Women’s T20 World Cup (which was held in February), and whether that’s an opportunity to re-jig things. It’ll be interesting to hear those discussions (which are) probably taking place at the moment and whether that’s logistically possible with the FTP the way it is,” Katich told Sen Radio.
“But I’m sure that a T20 World Cup is a priority for all the organisers at the moment, to try and make sure that goes ahead at some point in the Australian summer given that we’re hosting it.”
Commenting on the IPL and if it can be held in Australia as a precursor to the World T20, Katich said: “Whether it would be in Australia (or elsewhere), that’s an interesting topic of conversation. There would be a few teams — us in particular at RCB, we’d be very happy for it to be played abroad — because a number of our overseas players are Australian and South African, who really would enjoy these conditions in Australia.
“It would be interesting to see if that would eventuate but obviously it’s one of many scenarios that’s being discussed. It’s obviously the biggest T20 tournament in the world and the people there love their cricket. But I think they’re also realistic to know that they have to sit tight and wait like everyone else in the world, and ride this out however long that takes.
“There is a huge economic side to this in terms of what the IPL generates, not only for the Indian economy but also for the franchises as well, and for the BCCI. I guess the thing that has to be weighed up is … there’s probably a little bit of a difference in terms of the IPL. Because of the amount of eyeballs that are on the IPL in India when it’s on in April and May, it is a scenario where it is potentially still very commercially viable being played with empty stadiums, so that’s something no doubt they’ll be weighing up.
“In the past there’s been talk of ratings figures of 80 million people watching games. At the same time, there’s obviously a lot of health regulations that need to be followed to make sure that no-one’s endangered, whether that’s the public or the players and support staff.”