As coronavirus threatens to derail the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2020 in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Sourav Ganguly faces his biggest challenge yet as the president of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI). (More Cricket News)
The lucrative T20 cricket league, which fills the BCCI coffer with hundred of crores every season, starts its delayed 2020 season in less than three weeks, yet there's no fixture. A failed IPL season not only means losing crores but losing face for the world's powerful board.
The BCCI is known for pulling off stunning feats and has a team capable of meeting strict deadlines, but this time, the famed board looks jittery as several members, including two players, in the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) camp tested positive for coronavirus. They are reportedly asymptomatic, but what's worrying is, the 'bubble' has been breached, compromised.
But Ganguly, who was seen shooting an IPL film at Eden Gardens in Kolkata on Saturday, sounded positive while also reflecting what seems to be a BCCI stand.
“I cannot comment on the situation of Chennai Super Kings," ToI reported Ganguly as saying. "We’ll see if they can start as per schedule. I hope the IPL will be conducted well. We have a long schedule for the tournament and I sincerely hope everything will go on just fine.”
It took BCCI one full day to release an official statement on what's really happening in the CSK camp in the UAE even as a legend like Suresh Raina panicked and decided to leave the three-time IPL champions even before the first toss of the season.
Traditionally, the opening match is played by the two finalists of the previous season. So, it's Mumbai Indians vs CSK on September 19. Mumbai skipper Rohit Sharma even teased Dhoni with the date when the former India skipper announced his retirement from international cricket.
As things stand now, the league starts as scheduled. Other than that, nothing can be sure. With BCCI keeping the play to itself, rumours from 'sources' are all that the outside world has about the premier T20 league. And that's bad for business.
Cricket matches can be "conducted to empty stadiums globally," but fans, the supporters need to know what's really happening with the game, the players. Unfortunately, there's no such thing called clarity regarding IPL now.
And if there's one person who can help salvage the situation, before it's too late, then it's him. After all, "dada ka wada' should mean something.