The Chennai Super Kings may have dealt a major blow to the idea of the India Premier League having a shortened season — or even a season at all.
As cricket fans wait to see when the top league may return from its coronavirus hiatus, the 2019 runner-up has pushed back against the idea of holding a truncated season. As the Times of India reported, the Chennai Super Kings are more hesitant to move forward if the IPL can’t play a traditional season. As the report noted, the city of Chennai remains under stringent lockdown measures amid a surge in coronavirus cases there, and the team are not sure about the attempts from the Board of Control for Cricket to make a plan for moving forward.
“It is a good thing that the BCCI is showing interest to conduct the IPL. But it is too early to plan anything. A lot of clarity is needed on various matters before we start preparing,” sources close to the franchise told the news outlet.
As the report noted, some franchises have been receptive to the idea of playing a shortened season given the restrictions from coronavirus, but CSK is not on board with the idea of “tinkering” with the league’s format.
“CSK will be okay with whatever decision the BCCI takes but then they wouldn’t much tinkering of the format. They would want a full-fledged IPL,” the source said.
There are still a number of other factors at play regarding when the IPL could return, including how effective India’s measures to contain the virus end up being. Other countries struggling with coronavirus outbreaks have found difficulty in getting sports leagues to start again, both due to worries of the virus and labor disputes. The Chinese Basketball Association had to delay its plans to restart its league in April as the effects of the virus lingered. In the United States, Major League Baseball has encountered difficulty in finding a common ground between players and owners on what players would be paid, putting the season at risk.
For the IPL, there are still other chips that need to fall into place before a season can be considered. As the Times of India reported, IPL chairman Brijesh Patel said the league is waiting for the International Cricket Council to formally decide when the T20 World Cup will be held. The IPL season would then be scheduled around it, with Patel predicting a start date sometime around September or October.