IPL 2021 Phase 2 – ECB ‘unlikely’ to respond favourably to BCCI’s request: The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is in a difficult position to conduct the IPL 2021 remaining matches. The fact that not completing it would lead to huge financial losses to both the BCCI and franchises has led the BCCI to attempt desperate measures. As reported by InsideSport.co on Wednesday, one of the calls is being made to the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) to reschedule the 5-match Test series and advance it by a week for the sake of IPL 2021 Phase 2, which BCCI wants to complete before the ICC T20 World Cup.
However, the ECB isn’t too forthcoming on the request made by the BCCI. According to reports in UK media, ECB has to take care of their own house and is ‘unlikely to pay any heed to the BCCI request’. The reason, ECB is launching its pet project The Hundred and any changes will upset their plans.
BCCI-ECB standoff – Schedule change for IPL 2021 Phase 2? Why ECB is unlikely to accommodate BCCI’s request?
InsideSport takes a look at the reasons why tweaking the Eng-Ind Test series schedule isn’t possible and against ECB’s best interest.
The Hundred: Due to launch on July 21, ECB’s most hyped project The Hundred is an experimental tournament that will be played in a unique new format. The tournament consists mostly of English stars including Joe Root, Ben Stokes, Moeen Ali, Jos Buttler amongst others. All four are expected to be a part of the Test series. As per the current schedule, they will miss most part of The Hundred due to the Test series but if it were to advance by a week, their absence in the new tournament would be even longer, curtailing its appeal. Furthermore, the inaugural season could also lose TV and stadium audience due to their absence.
Logistical nightmare: The Eng-Ind Test series will be conducted in a bio-secure bubble with hotels already booked and all arrangements in place. Any changes to the schedule will lead to rearranging all the arrangements. Furthermore, as The Hundred is being played in Test venues, the fixtures will clash.
BCCI-ECB standoff: Broadcaster: The Hundred and the Test series are two new properties that ECB is making money off. By changing either of them, it could upset the official broadcaster Sky Sports will also need to change its programming schedule completely.
Ticket sales: The other aspect is that the ticket sales for both The Hundred and the Test series have already begun. Any change will lead to inconvenience to the ticket buyers, who will need to be accommodated or even need to be refunded completely in certain cases.
“BCCI and the ECB are in discussions to tweak the five-Test series. Details of those discussions aren’t public yet. But in whichever manner the ECB agrees to tweak the Test series, they will want the IPL in England because the counties can earn from it. There’ll be a good chance of a quid pro quo”, TOI had quoted a source privy to the discussions on Wednesday.
IPL 2021 Phase 2: Meanwhile, ECB office denies any request made by BCCI
Both Indian and UK media had reported on Wednesday that BCCI has requested ECB to tweak the schedule of the 5 match test series for sake of IPL 2021 Phase 2.
“BCCI and the ECB are in discussions to tweak the five-Test series. Details of those discussions aren’t public yet. But in whichever manner the ECB agrees to tweak the Test series, they will want the IPL in England because the counties can earn from it. There’ll be a good chance of a quid pro quo”, TOI has quoted a source privy to the discussions.
Under pressure ECB on the other hand has denied any such request has been made by BCCI.
“We talk to the BCCI on a regular basis about a wide range of issues especially as we address the challenges of Covid-19, but have had no official request to change dates and are continuing to plan for the five-match Test series as is scheduled,” a spokesman for the England board told Cricbuzz on Thursday night.
BCCI-ECB standoff: Hence, the way the situation is BCCI is unlikely to get any window to complete the remaining 31 matches of IPL 2021.