Once cricket resumes, India head coach has advised that a global event like T20 World Cup shouldn’t be the priority considering the logistics involved and instead IPL, bilateral series and domestic matches should take the precedence.
All cricketing event continues to be suspended for over two months and the foreseeable future due to the coronavirus pandemic. Cricket boards across the world are busy in planning how to organise matches in a bio-secure environment once the lockdown restrictions are eased or lifted.
Shastri is against the organising of global events for the time being.
“I wouldn’t put too much emphasis on world events right now,” Shastri was quoted as saying by TOI. “Stay at home, ensure domestic cricket comes back to normal, cricketers at all levels international, First Class, etc all get back on the field. That’s the most important bit. Second: Start with bilateral cricket.”
If given a choice, Shastri says, he will choose bilateral tours over hosting the ICC Men’s T20 World cup. “If we (India) had to choose between hosting a World Cup and a bilateral tour, obviously, we’d settle for the bilateral. Instead of 15 teams flying in, we’d settle for one team flying in and playing an entire bilateral series at just one or two grounds,” he said.
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is also looking for a suitable window to prevent IPL 13 from being cancelled. According to media reports, the BCCI could stage a truncated version of IPL in September-October this year.
As there are massive differences in the logistics involved in playing a league and a global event like T20 World Cup, Shastri reckons IPL should become the priority.
“In that sense, what India’s lost out on is domestic cricket – the IPL for instance. When cricket resumes, we could give the IPL a priority. The difference between an international tournament and the IPL is that the IPL can be played between one or two cities and the logistics will be easier to manage. The same thing with bilaterals it’ll be easier for us to tour one country and play there at specific grounds than 15-16 teams flying in during these times. The International Cricket Council needs to look at this objectively,” Shastri added.