Cricket and media observers have cited broadcast demands as a reason for BCCI to continue plugging the Indian Premier League (IPL) rather than international cricket in this time of crises (Pic: Vaibhav Raghunandan).
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) have been shocked by reports that suggest plans are being made to host the Asia Cup in Sri Lanka.
Last week, after the Asian Cricket Council (ACC) were unable to make a decision about the fate of the tournament via teleconference. In the aftermath of the meeting there have been multiple reports that suggest the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) have accepted to exchange places with Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) to host the Asian Cup this year.
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Moreover, following the ACC meeting, Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) chief Shammi Silva told the media that the ACC approved Sri Lanka to host the Asian Cup this year. "We had a discussion with the Pakistan Cricket Board and they have already agreed to our hosting this edition due to the world situation,” Silva said. “We had an online ACC meeting and they basically gave us the green light to host the tournament.”
However, BCCI officials have strongly opposed these reports and have categorically indicated that no decision on the tournament has been taken so far.
"We have no idea where such reports are coming from and we're surprised how fast these reports travel. The BCCI is clear that no decision was taken at the ACC meeting. The Board is tired of giving out these clarifications. Earlier it was about travelling to Zimbabwe and Sri Lanka , and BCCI had to deny it with a statement. Now this," a well placed source in the Board told TOI.
Furthermore, the BCCI have made it absolutely clear that if the fate of the Asia Cup tournament is decided anytime soon, it will not be held because of a shortened IPL.
"Let's be clear about that first. There won't be a truncated IPL just to host an Asia Cup. Those thinking on such lines are clearly not speaking in India's interests and the BCCI will not be party to it," sources added.
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Observers have cited broadcast demands as a reason to continue plugging the IPL rather than international cricket in this time of crises.
"Even the World Cup in England was a loss-making event for the broadcaster and we're talking about an Asia Cup here,” sources who tack the industry observed. “The IPL is a different beast altogether. Who're these people who refuse to understand the numbers? It's in Indian cricket's best interests to host the IPL. What are we going to cater to? India's interests or PCB's interests?"
The Asia Cup was scheduled to be played in a T20 format ahead of the T20 World Cup with the idea that the tournament would serve as a ‘warm up’ for the ICC event.
South Africa Tour a No-Go Too
The BCCI has actively dismissed any speculation that India has been considering a South Africa tour in the coming months. With a blanket media ban on all BCCI officials, most news coming out has been restricted to unnamed sources. In this case too the trend has followed. "BCCI can't start denying things that aren't true in the first place . Somebody starts a rumour and what does the BCCI have to do with it? Start denying rumours?" a source said.
“Yes, India and South Africa were in talks to host a series there. These talks were first initiated when Graeme Smith took charge at Cricket South Africa (CSA) . But that was then. Covid changes everything.”
The BCCI issued a press release stating that India’s tour to Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe have been cancelled. "If these South Africa rumours aren't put to rest, there'll be another statement, simple," sources add.
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