Sourav Ganguly said on Thursday that the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is doing all it can to stage the Indian Premier League this year.
“The BCCI is working on all possible options to ensure that we’re able to stage the IPL this year, even if it means playing in empty stadiums,” Ganguly, the BCCI’s President said.
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“Fans, franchisees, players, broadcasters, sponsors and all stakeholders are looking forward to the possibility of IPL being hosted this year. Recently, a lot of players, both from India and other countries, participating in the IPL have also shown their keenness on being a part of the tournament this year. We are optimistic and the BCCI will shortly decide on the future course of action on this,” he added.
The BCCI's planning has been hampered because of a lack of concrete decision making regarding the 2020 T20 World Cup. The BCCI was looking at the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) meeting on Wednesday to figure out if they could get a definite window for its home season, starting with IPL. A decision of the staging of the world event (or its cancellation) would have opened up a space in the calendar for the BCCI to position its landmark tournament.
The ICC has deferred a decision on the T20 World Cup to July, saying they are looking at "a number of contingency plans".
Some members have called it plan "procrastination", some see the decision as an important factor in the upcoming ICC elections while some others say "this is being done only to ensure India's plans for the Indian Premier League (IPL) are thwarted”. Opinions are varied but a lot of members have talked about the letter written by Cricket Australia chairman Earl Eddings to the ICC's Financial & Commercial Affairs Committee (F&CA), which specifically states that will be in no position to the T20 World Cup this year.
In their Wednesday meeting, members of the ICC, also agreed to extend the deadline given to the BCCI to provide a tax solution for the T20 World Cup (scheduled to be held in 2021) and the 50-over World Cup (scheduled for 2023), by December this year.
Wednesday’s meeting was called for after a deferment that took place on May 28 because the ICC felt the need to investigate how private emails of the body were leaked outside.
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The ICC also had an update on the independent investigation put together to investigate the leaks of their internal matters. "The enquiry, which is being led by ICC's ethics officer, will be supported administratively by (…) independent director Indra Nooyi and chair of the Finance and Commercial Affairs committee (F&CA) Ehsan Mani. All members of the board and ICC management are party to the enquiry", the ICC statement said.
People have raised questions regarding the involvement of ICC CEO Manu Sawhney in providing the report on the investigation, A source was quoted saying “Is Sawhney not marked in the emails? How can he submit a report?”
Similar questions revolve around the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Mani who is also the chairman of ICC's F&CA as he becomes part of the team that is going to investigate the matter and submit the report.
Sources have questioned Mani’s involvement. "Even the Cricket Australia email on the T20 World Cup got leaked, where Eddings says they can't host this year's tournament. It has appeared in the media, correct? Wasn't that email marked to the F&CA of which Mani is the chairman. Then how can Mani be part of the investigations?"
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