Once cricket resumes, India head coach Ravi Shastri has advised that a global event like ICC Men’s T20 World Cup shouldn’t be the priority considering the logistics involved and instead bilateral series, IPL and domestic matches should take the precedence. Also Read - 'Instead of COVID-19, India Flattened GDP Curve,' Bajaj MD Criticises Lockdown Measures, Calls it 'Draconian'
All professional cricket continues to be suspended for over two months and the foreseeable future due to the coronavirus pandemic. Cricket boards across the world are busy drawing plans as to how to organise matches in a bio-secure environment once the lockdown restrictions are eased or lifted. Also Read - 'Perfect Time, Perfect Opportunity,' Says PM Modi to Aussie PM Scott Morrison in First Virtual Meet | Top 10 Points
Shastri is against emphasising global events for the time being. Also Read - Defender Harmanpreet Singh 'Extremely Delighted And Honoured' After Arjuna Award Nomination
“I wouldn’t put too much emphasis on world events right now,” Shastri was quoted as saying by The Times of India. “Stay at home, ensure domestic cricket comes back to normal, cricketers at all levels — international, First Class, etc — all get back on the field. That’s the most important bit. Second: Start with bilateral cricket.”
If given a choice, Shastri says, he will choose bilateral tours over hosting a world cup. “If we (India) had to choose between hosting a World Cup and a bilateral tour, obviously, we’d settle for the bilateral. Instead of 15 teams flying in, we’d settle for one team flying in and playing an entire bilateral series at just one or two grounds,” he said.
BCCI is also exploring a suitable window to prevent IPL from being cancelled this year. Unconfirmed reports suggest that it could stage a truncated version in September-October this year.
Given the massive differences in the logistics involved in playing a league and a global event like T20 World Cup, Shastri reckons IPL should become the priority.
“In that sense, what India’s lost out on is domestic cricket — the IPL for instance. When cricket resumes, we could give the IPL a priority. The difference between an international tournament and the IPL is that the IPL can be played between one or two cities and the logistics will be easier to manage. The same thing with bilaterals — it’ll be easier for us to tour one country and play there at specific grounds than 15-16 teams flying in during these times. The International Cricket Council needs to look at this objectively,” Shastri said.