September IPL 2020 in Sri Lanka is viable option, opines Sunil Gavaskar – WION

Former India captain Sunil Gavaskar is of the view that Indian Premier League (IPL) could be played in Sri Lanka in September even if T20 World Cup goes ahead as per schedule in October-November. The batting great has said that instead of playing double-headers, the tournament could be played with one-legged matches. 

The T20 World Cup is scheduled to be played in Australia from October 18 to November 19 but there were reports stating that the showpiece event could be postponed due to COVID-19 pandemic. However, the Australian government has allowed crowds up to 10,000 in stadiums from June and it has given a new lifeline to Australia in terms of hosting the event as planned. The ICC will make a decision on the tournament next month. 

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“If the ICC believes that the World T20 can happen, then having the IPL looks difficult because it could only be held if the World T20 is postponed,” the former India captain told a leading Indian news portal.

“But after the announcement (of opening the stadiums for fans by Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison), the IPL in October looks difficult.”

In September, you can’t have the IPL in India due to monsoon: Gavaskar

The BCCI is optimistic of holding the IPL this year even if it means taking it overseas or playing behind closed doors with IPL chairman Brijesh Patel saying that the tournament could be moved out of India if the rising number of cases doesn’t ease in the next couple of months. 

However, with the monsoon expected to play spoilsport for cricket, staging a truncated version of IPL in Sri Lanka could be a viable option, as per Gavaskar. 

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“In September, you can’t have the IPL in India due to monsoon,” said Gavaskar.

“But maybe (it can be held) in Sri Lanka from early September with teams playing each other once instead of double-headers. Maybe you can think of that,” said Gavaskar.

The UAE and Sri Lankan cricket board have shown interest in staging IPL 2020 this year. South Africa hosted the second IPL in 2009, and the first half of the 2014 season took place in the UAE.