The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is planning to kick off the 2020 edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) on March 28. This has resulted in franchises losing sleep because two high-profile international series are set to be played at that time. Australia have been scheduled to face New Zealand in 3 T20Is while England will square off against Sri Lanka to play 2 Test matches in the Emerald Isles.
While speaking to a news agency, an unnamed official of one of the IPL teams said that all the franchises were hopeful that the IPL Governing Council (GC) will go back to the traditional format of having doubleheaders throughout the tournament and shift the start date to April 1 and post that. The official said that while the Australia-New Zealand series on March 29, the second Test of the series between England and Sri Lanka technically ends only on March 31. In such a scenario, starting the season without major overseas stars makes teams lose the opportunity to gain early momentum in the tournament. He added that if the tournament got going from April 1, the scenario looked much better.
Another official said that there were at least four franchises who have already raised the issue with the BCCI during the briefing on the eve of the auction. He added that it was a scenario which the franchises agreed upon not being very favourable and the matter was in fact debated by around 4 to 5 of the teams present as nobody wanted to start on the back foot. The official went on to say that they might make an official appeal as there are a few weeks to go before the official calendar is released. The decision lies in the hands of the IPL Governing Council to go ahead with the March 28-May 24 window or start from April 1 and look at more doubleheaders in the season.