Earlier this week, the BCCI officially confirmed all of the rumours that had been circulating around. The 2020 IPL will take place in the United Arab Emirates but it will not commence from September 26 as some claimed.
The IPL will run from Sep 19 and finish on Nov 8 in order to give the Indian team sufficient time to travel to Australia and quarantine for 14 days before their tour down under begins. The 2020 IPL can take place during September and November because the ICC and Cricket Australia postponed the T20 World Cup which was scheduled to take place in October.
Cricket players are a tad disappointed that the T20 World Cup will not take place this year but they are more than happy to see the IPL rescheduled during this slot as all of the IPL players will pocket a nice chunk of cash which they would have missed out on had the IPL been cancelled this year.
Shoaib Akhtar Accuses BCCI of Manipulation
Pakistan will not be happy with the way things played out because their cricketers are not allowed to play in the IPL due to the on-going tensions between Pakistan and India. This literally means that Pakistani cricketers will be out of work.
Former Pakistani fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar is not impressed with the way things have played out and he has alleged that the BCCI has used its financial clout once again to get its way. Akhtar believes that the BCCI pulled strings to put pressure on the ICC and Cricket Australia to not proceed with the T20 World Cup as the BCCI had to free up this cricketing window to reschedule the 2020 IPL.
The IPL is the cash cow for the BCCI and each edition brings in nearly $500 million in revenues. If the T20 World Cup was not cancelled, it would have been very difficult for the BCCI to have rescheduled the IPL this year because the tournament has to take place during a 45 to 50 day window when there is little to no international cricketing being played so that overseas players can participate in the IPL.
Akhtar said the BCCI not only used its power to cancel the T20 World Cup but did the same thing and got the Asia Cup cancelled as well. Pakistan was supposed to host the 2020 Asia Cup in September but it was cancelled earlier this month. The ‘Rawalpindi Express’ lashed out at the BCCI and said that it was clear that they wanted to protect the IPL at all costs which is why they pulled strings behind the scenes to cancel the Asia Cup and T20 World Cup.
Is There Any Truth To Akhtar’s Allegations?
Shoaib Akhtar was a fiery character on the field and always had a mouthful for the batsmen apart from his express pace. His character hasn’t changed as he often has these outbursts on social media and has a go at India and Indian cricketers.
It is quite easy to dismiss his allegations against the BCCI as baseless and label it as an emotional outburst. However, if we take out the emotion and have a closer look at his remarks – is there a shred of truth amongst his remarks or is everything baseless?
There is no doubt that the BCCI is the biggest hitter in world cricket because it brings in nearly 80 percent of revenue that the ICC generates. With so much financial clout, the BCCI has used its position to pressure other ICC members as well as the ICC in the past and get its way.
Akhtar might have a valid point when he says that the Asia Cup was postponed because the BCCI wasn’t very keen to be a part of it. If you take out India from the Asia Cup, you lose a billion fans and the tournament becomes rather lacklustre. If the Asia Cup had to take place as per plan in September, it would have made it difficult for the IPL to be scheduled from Sep 19. If the BCCI backed the Asia Cup, it would have taken place and hence Akhtar is correct in this regard.
However, to say that the BCCI managed to get its way and get the ICC and Cricket Australia to concede the T20 World Cup in favour of the IPL is a bit of a stretch. This is because Australia is battling COVID-19 cases and Victoria has been forced to go into another lockdown. This is something that the BCCI cannot be held responsible for.
It looks like the BCCI has pulled strings but also a number of other factors also fell into place to make the 2020 IPL possible!