Cricket Australia has received a vote of confidence from one of India’s key senior cricket officials regarding the chances of a vital $300m tour going ahead despite coronavirus.
Arun Dhumal, treasurer of the Board of Control for Cricket in India offered hope for the Test and one-day series against Australia by declaring the team were willing to isolate here for a fortnight before playing.
“There is no choice – everyone will have to do that. You would want to resume the cricket,” he told the Sydney Morning Herald .
“Two weeks is not that long a lockdown. That would be ideal for any sportsman because when you are in quarantine for such a long period, then going to another country and having a two-week lockdown it would be a good thing to do. We’ll have to see what the norms are post this lockdown.”
The summer tour is critical to the financial situation of CA, who were expecting $300m in broadcast rights.
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CA first responded to the dire financial prospect in late April, when about 80 per cent of staff were stood down on 20 per cent pay.
States were also asked to take 45 per cent cuts to their annual grants but Australian cricket’s state association owners successfully challenged that proposal and at the time had negotiated it down to a 25 per cent trim.
CA reportedly were able to secure a $50m loan not longer after these developments though as part of a larger $200m loan to cover for the potential cancellation of India’s tour to Australia.
The chances of the Indian cricket team receiving a travel exemption are helped by the fact that rugby league’s New Zealand Warriors have already been granted one as the NRL looks to make its return to the field on May 28.
Dhumal was not yet ready to confirm whether the Test series would be played over five games instead of four, instead saying the two nations may be better suited to play additional limited-overs games during summer instead.
“Once we are sure when cricket will resume, then only will we be able to make a final call on that,” he said.
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“That discussion [on five Tests] took place before the lockdown. If there is a window available it would be up to the boards to decide whether they wanted to go for a Test match or maybe two ODIs or maybe two T20s.
“Given the revenue loss they will have on account of lockdown, post-lockdown they will want to have revenue and revenue most likely will come from ODIs or T20s much more than a Test match.”
Dhumal admitted it was “difficult” to see the T20 World Cup going ahead on schedule with its status set to be discussed today by the ICC and CA on teleconference.
“They will have been out of cricket for a long time. Would you want to be without training for that long and straight away go and play [the] World Cup?” he said.
“That is a call every board has to take. It seems to be difficult.”
“CA remains optimistic the 2020-21 men’s and women’s home summer – scheduled to begin with the men’s T20 World Cup in October and November – will proceed, whether in empty stadia if social distancing restrictions remain in place or as relevant crowd guidelines allow,” a release from the board in April said.
Before the coronavirus pandemic Australia was scheduled to host the T20 World Cup from October 18 to November 15.
Source: Fox News, AFP