The road to Indian Premier League (IPL) 2020 is becoming more and more clear, with chairman Brijesh Patel announcing the decision to host the T20 league in the United Arab Emirates this year. The tentative schedule sees the league starting in the last week of September but if reports are to be concerned, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is being put under pressure to organise an international cricket series before the start of IPL 13.
The Indian board has seen quite a few of its international assignments being cancelled in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Starting with the limited-overs contest against South Africa in March, the BCCI has cancelled matches against Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe too.
As per a report in Bangalore Mirror, the BCCI stakeholders are putting pressure on the board to have an international series before the T20 league begins on September 26, preferably against South Africa.
After the India – South Africa ODI series was cancelled back in March, the two teams have been scheduled for a face-off in August (the series is not a part of the original Future Tours Program) for three T20I matches.
When asked about the bilateral assignment, IPL chairman Brijesh Patel told the paper: “We will discuss everything at the GC (Governing Council).”
The BCCI-contracted Indian players are set to regroup at Ahmedabad’s Motera stadium in the coming weeks for a national camp that will see them undergo a rigorous training session.
The players have only been working on their fitness at home since the Coronavirus outbreak began and have had little to no cricketing practice. The training session hopes to help them rediscover their lost touch and prepare for a packed schedule in the remaining part of the year.
With the IPL scheduled to begin on September 26, there are chances that the BCCI will organise a 3-T20I series against South Africa late August and mark India’s return to international cricket.