Will IPL impact Tigers’ SL tour?

Sports Correspondent

11 August, 2020 12:00 AM printer

The upcoming Indian Premier League is having an impact on the rescheduling of Bangladesh’s tour to Sri Lanka, said Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) insiders on Monday.

According to sources, Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) has confirmed the three-match Test series but they are yet to take any decision regarding the shorter format games.

However, SLC is taking time to announce the venues and dates for the series but there is a strong possibility that it can be deferred to November to give room for Indian Premier League (IPL)’s fixture.

There is a great possibility that the Test series will start from November 3 and if that is the case it is understood that SLC is not ready to clash with IPL considering the tournament will be nearing the end by that time.

According to BCB insiders, this delay by SLC is largely due to avoid schedule clash with IPL as the hosts are not ready to clash with the cash-rich tournament which is likely to have all the attention from viewers across the world. The fact which also might inspire intrigue among some fans is that when IPL moves to UAE this year in the middle of COVID -19 pandemic, cricket won’t be the same for players and the viewers.

IPL’s 13th edition will be hosted in UAE from September 19 to November 10 and according to the draft of the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP), Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has notified the eight franchisees that IPL will feature sanitised empty stands this time and with players in bio-secure environments.

“You cannot avoid IPL and we must accept its importance. In the past, during the IPL season, cricketing activities around the world remained almost shut,” said a BCB official requesting anonymity.

“This time, IPL broadcasters are in a lucrative position as it will be hosted on almost empty stands and so everyone will be looking to get the pie of the cake through the TV set,” he said.

“If we consider the business aspect of the tournament, when the tournament (IPL) is going on there will be hardly any interest for Bangladesh-Sri Lanka series but that will not be the case if the series start in November because by that time IPL will be nearing the end,” he said.

As far as cricketers are concerned, the rescheduling of the series will have little impact on the IPL season as no Bangladeshi cricketers have been picked by the league’s franchises this season.

When it comes to Sri Lankan cricketers, only two from the island nation are set to play in IPL and they are not part of the Test teams.

Mumbai Indians has Lasith Malinga in their squad and all-rounder Isuru Udana is part of the Royal Challengers Bengaluru team. Both should not face any challenge getting a No Objection Certificate from SLC to play in IPL 2020.

Originally, Sri Lanka was scheduled to host Bangladesh in July for a three-match Test series but due to COVID-19 the series now will be pushed to either October or November.

BCB CEO Nizamuddin Chowdhury is looking to ‘work around with the schedule’ after the postponement of ICC T20 World Cup.