For the first time in decades, there has been absolutely no form of cricket in either domestic or international arenas. The last cricket match that took place was on March 15 and since then domestic and international cricketers have been under house arrest in different parts of the world.
The Board of Control for Cricket in India had to postpone the 2020 Indian Premier League (IPL) and was hoping it would be able to get things underway by May 5. That did not happen and with every passing week, it looks highly unlikely that the IPL will take place this year. BCCI President Sourav Ganguly has given the fans no update as to what the BCCI plans to do and has preferred to stay silent for now.
However, BCCI treasurer Arun Singh Dhumal told the press last week that India were now looking ahead to the test series in December against Australia. India are expected to travel down under to play a 4 match test series against the Aussies followed by a 3 match ODI series. This is a big series for both India and Australia as it is expected to be a closely contested series and a series that will generate a lot of funds for both boards.
Dhumal said that as of now the BCCI and the players were willing to accept a 14 day quarantine for traveling to Australia as they knew how important the test series was.
Will Australia Permit India To Tour?
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has stated that even when the country removes all restrictions and life gets back to normal, they will not open their doors to overseas travel for quite some time. The general consensus as of now is that Australia is likely to open up international travel only in December 2020 or maybe even early 2021.
Australia has only made a travel exception to neighbouring New Zealand for now. Australia is allowing foreigners to fly out of the country and back to their home country but are not willing to let anyone from overseas into their country. Before Australia could impose an international travel lockdown, they were requiring all overseas travellers to be subjected to a 14 day quarantine period for testing before being given the go ahead to travel in Australia.
The BCCI is assuming that Australia will either change its international lockdown rules by December 2020 or make an exception for the Indian cricket team. The BCCI is not taking it for granted that the Indian cricket team will receive a free pass into the country and is hence prepared and planning for a 14 day quarantine period.
The big question is whether Australia will make an exception for the Indian cricket team. There are on-going discussions between the BCCI, Cricket Australia and the Australian government about what protocols will be in place should the Indian cricket team tour.
How Much Money Is On The Line For Australia?
Richard Colbeck, sports minister in Australia is very keen to get the sports market up and running in Australia and knows just how important it is to get the Indian team into Australia. If India do not tour Australia, Cricket Australia is expected to suffer losses in excess of A$300 million.
There is talk that the two cricketing boards are looking at extending the test series from a 4 match series to a 5 match series. If the two boards agree and a 14 day quarantine is mandated, it could turn out to be a very long overseas tour for the Indian cricket team.
What About The 2020 World Cup?
Given the fact that Dhumal is making reference to India touring Australia in December 2020 and no mention is being made of the 2020 T20 World Cup in Australia in October, it gives place for cricket fans to question as to whether the 2020 T20 World Cup has been cancelled. If the T20 World Cup is not cancelled, then India and all the other teams should be making plans for a 14 day quarantine in late September. Since there is no talk of any quarantine in September, it is quite possible that the T20 World Cup is being postponed and there is possibility that the 2020 IPL could replace the T20 World Cup in October.