MUMBAI: Give it to Sri Lanka Cricket for being "quick on the draw" after the BCCI made official what was clear once the Centre declared the COVID-19 induced nationwide lockdown was being further extendesd till May 3 - that the Indian Premier League was postponed till further notice.
SLC president Shammi Silva on Thursday said that Sri lanka is ready to host the IPL as the island nation, which has far fewer coronavirus-positive cases, is expected to return to normalcy much earlier as compared to India. Sri Lanka has just over 200 cases cases right now as against India's tally of more than 13,000. The death toll in India has crossed the 400 mark.
The BCCI's reaction to the proposal was on expected lines. "The BCCI will not be in a position to say anything when the world is closed," a senior board official told PTI.
The official also pointed out that once matters became clearer, there would multiple options (including offshore ones) that the BCCI would necessarily have to examine before finalising anything.
As things stand, IF the IPL is held within this calendar year, the BCCI will be more keen on having it in India in one of two slots - September-October or October-November.
As for the SLC, it can hold matches on three grounds - Galle, Kandy and Premadasa Stadium - with logistics reduced to less than half as there are no inland flights.
Having an IPL could help the SLC gain significant financial stability, more than what a short white-ball series against India (three T20Is and three ODIs) can guarantee in July.
The IPL was twice held outside India due to its dates clashing with parliamentary elections. South Africa hosted the second IPL edition in 2009, and the first half of the 2014 season took place in the UAE.
BCCI statement on IPL postponement
"Due to the evolving global health concerns regarding COVID-19 and lockdown measures implemented by the Government of India to contain the spread of the pandemic, the IPL Governing Council of the BCCI has decided that the IPL 2020 Season will be suspended till further notice.
"The health and safety of the nation and everyone involved in our great sport remains our top priority and as such, the BCCI along with the Franchise Owners, Broadcaster, Sponsors and all the Stakeholders acknowledge that the IPL 2020 season will only commence when it is safe and appropriate to do so.
"BCCI will continue to monitor and review the situation regarding a potential start date in close partnership with all of its stakeholders and will continue to take guidance from the Government of India, State Governments and other State Regulatory bodies."