England to postpone India tour due to ‘expected clash with IPL 2020’: Report

The Coronavirus pandemic has caused a huge upset in the sporting calendar all across the globe. While major European football leagues have extended their seasons beyond the usual timelines, cricketing bodies are still striving to find their way out of the COVID muddle. England & Wales Cricket Board (ECB) became the first international board to resume top-level cricketing action with the Test series against West Indies but as far as their tour of India is concerned, it isn’t expected to go ahead as scheduled.

As per a report in the Daily Mail, ECB is set to suspend England’s tour of India – scheduled to start in September – as the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is looking to organise the Indian Premier League (IPL) in the last week of September. England’s tour of India consisted of 3 ODIs and as many T20Is, starting September 16 but the fixture congestion amid the COIVD-19 pandemic is set to see the bilateral series being postponed.

With the decision over this year’s T20 World Cup being expected this month, the BCCI would look to organise the 13th edition of the IPL in the September-October-November window. Understandably, the Indian players will be occupied with their respective franchises in the T20 league but a host of English players are also expected to be a part of the T20 tournament, provided it gets the government clearances.

No cricket has been possible in India since mid-March when the Coronavirus outbreak began. BCCI president Sourav Ganguly had earlier confirmed that hosting the IPL this year remains the board’s top priority. 

The current COVID-19 situation in India, however, remains as tense as it can be. Almost every single day, the county is registering a ‘record’ rise in the number of cases. The situation has been such that the BCCI is also open to hosting the IPL in countries like Sri Lanka or UAE who have more-or-less gotten the virus spread under control.

For the BCCI to organise a full-fledged IPL Season 13, it also requires the travel restrictions on overseas players to be lifted. Presently, domestic flights are running in different parts of the country but international flights have been suspended. The restrictions, however, are expected to be lifted in the coming weeks.

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