Andre Russell

BIG DRAW: File photo shows Kolkata Knight Riders’ Andre Russell in full cry against Kings XI Punjab in a 2015 IPL match. --Photo: BCCI

The Indian Cricket Board (BCCI) believes it can capitalise on the window opened if the International Cricket Council (ICC) cancels the Twenty20 World Cup later this year.

The T20 World Cup is scheduled to take place from October 18 to November 15 in Australia but BCCI apex council member, Anshuman Gaekwad, said Wednesday he did not believe the showpiece would come off as planned due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

“I have my doubts that the T20 World Cup will be held this year,” the former India Test batsman said. “About IPL, we cannot think of just now. It will depend on Indian conditions and the window is only during this T20 WC which is October-November.

“If the World Cup gets cancelled or postponed, then only IPL can happen but then also, it depends on what the conditions are in India.”

The BCCI has postponed the lucrative IPL indefinitely following the coronavirus outbreak which forced the government here to enforce a strict country-wide lockdown.

Already, India have confirmed 107,000 cases and 3,300 deaths to be the 11th worst-hit country globally. However, government has begun to slowly ease the seven-week lockdown earlier this week with the resumption of some services but while stadiums and sports facilities were allowed to open, gatherings of any kind have been prohibited.

Gaekwad warned that even when cricket returned, it would take on a different complexion because of the new social distancing measures.

“Cricket is not going to be the same, the approach would be different,” Gaekwad explained. “There will be no crowd in the stadiums. Cricketers are not used to playing in empty stadiums.

“It will be one very difficult aspect of playing a new type of cricket. It may take another two months or four months or more to resume cricket. It is not theory that you can read and write. You have to perform so nothing is going to be easy,” he added.

Several West Indies stars are expected to headline the 13th edition of the IPL with the likes of veterans Chris Gayle, Sunil Narine, Dwayne Bravo and Kieron Pollard, along with superstar Andre Russell, some of the major drawing cards.

A plethora of young Windies stars like Nicholas Pooran, Shimron Hetmyer, Keemo Paul, Sheldon Cottrell, Fabian Allen and Oshane Thomas are also set to feature.

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