Cricket, or sports in general is inarguably the least of world’s concerns right now. But having said that, the entire cricketing fraternity does remain in utmost anticipation of some action on the field. The talks about the World T20 2020 happening in Australia have dwindled. Though, there also exists a possibility of this opening a window for IPL to be played during that time, it is still a distant possibility. It only leaves the fans hopeful for an India vs Australia series down under. The sport might have all but seen it’s last glory this year.
Cricket Australia have been vocal about their desire to make the tour happen. Coming in with both financial and traditional importance, the India Tour of Australia might be cricket’s first ever ‘Quarantine Tour’. India are slated to play four tests and three ODIs across December and January in a visit that could cost CA A$300 million if called off. The hosts therefore are in constant contact with the federal government to have all permissions and protocols in place. The Australian sport minister, Richard Colbeck also sounded positive about this happenstance.
India vs Australia: Hear it from the officials…
The cloud over the series overall, has put up many different scenarios for discussions. It’s said that the Indian players would be required to lock themselves down for two weeks before matches could start. “There is no choice – everyone will have to do that. You would want to resume the cricket,” Arun Singh Dhumal, the BCCI treasurer,quoted to Sydney Morning Herald. “Two weeks is not that long a lockdown. That would be ideal for any sportsman because when you are in quarantine for such a long period, then going to another country and having a two-week lockdown it would be a good thing to do. We’ll have to see what the norms are post this lockdown.”
The other scenario holds either extension of the tour to 5 tests or a complete shift to only limited overs cricket to cover up for the revenue. Dhumal also opened up in his chat about it. “That discussion [on five Tests] took place before the lockdown,” he said. “If there is a window available it would be up to the boards to decide whether they wanted to go for a Test match or maybe two ODIs or maybe two T20s. Given the revenue loss they will have on account of lockdown, post-lockdown they will want to have revenue and revenue most likely will come from ODIs or T20s much more than a Test match.”
ICC’s role to play overall…
Every cricket board from across the globe has had revenue losses due to the COVID19 lockdown. Hence, them expecting a way out to regain the financial strength isn’t unexpected. It is also interesting to how ICC reacts to the crisis as a whole. On one hand, where the superpowers like India, Australia and England would still be in a better position, the weaker cricket boards of West Indies, Bangladesh, etc would be looking forward to the ICC for help post lockdown. ICC would also have to make alterations to its FTP as well as other policies post the lockdown.
All in all, as the island nation promises its revival to normalcy, there exists a glimpse of hope of cricket coming back to its regular routine. The world eagerly awaits to find out whether it’s first ‘Quarantine Tour’ is about to happen. India vs Australia 2020-21 holds the answer but it’s only about time!