Cricketing activity can only start after monsoon season: BCCI CEO Rahul Johri

Tags: BCCI

Published on: May 21, 2020

BCCI CEO Rahul Johri has admitted that he doesn't see any cricketing activity taking place before the end of the monsoon season. However, he was hopeful that the Indian Premier League (IPL) will be held this year.

In a webinar organised by Twenty First Century Media, Johri said that they will follow all government guidelines related to resumption of the sport. "We are going to be guided by the Government of India in its entirety, whatever are the government guidelines is what we'll follow. Cricketing activity in earnest can start practically only after the monsoon season," he said.

Johri also shared his views about the IPL being held this year in October-November if the T20 World Cup in Australia is postponed. "Hopefully things will improve and give us more variables which we can control and accordingly take the decision," Johri further added.

While the BCCI CEO is not in favour of an IPL featuring only Indian players, he did admit that there would be numerous logistic issues in bringing in foreign players for the tournament in the post COVID-19 world.

"The flavour of the IPL is that the best players around the world come and play, and everyone is committed to maintaining that flavour. Of course, it is going to be a step-by-step process, so you cannot expect normalisation tomorrow," Johri explained.

"We need to factor what the government advisories will be. Right now there are no flights. At some point flights will open and everybody needs to quarantine themselves before playing. How will that impact the schedules because as it is the schedules are extremely tight," he further stated.

One of the toughest measures to implement would be the proposed 14-day quarantine period that will throw the schedule completely out of gear.

"So there are a lot of moving parts. Having said that we stay optimistic. Hopefully the situation post the monsoon will improve and we approach it that point of time," Johri stated.

Johri also admitted that it would be a major challenge to host the lengthy Indian domestic season under the given circumstances. The Indian domestic calender lasts from October to May and involves teams travelling to various parts of the country. According to Johri, the upcoming season would need a serious overhaul.

"In this changing scenario the scheduling of domestic cricket needs to be completely relooked at because today there is a team which can travel 50 kilometres to play a match or 3000 kilometres to play a match," he said.

"Everybody plays every other team home and away. Now in this scenario where travel is restricted, where players' safety, support staff safety is of paramount importance, how do you conduct these leagues?. It is a discussion that will be had and interesting options will have to come up. Innovation will be the key in this," Johri commented.

--By A Cricket Correspondent

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