Asia Cup 2020 cancelled due to Covid-19, confirms BCCI president Sourav Ganguly

Written by Sumit Seth

Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) president Sourav Ganguly on Wednesday confirmed that the Asia Cup 2020 cricket tournament will not be played this year due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Sourav Ganguly confirmed the news during an Instagram live session with India Today’s Vikrant Gupta.

“The Asia Cup, which was to be held in September, has been cancelled),” Ganguly told ‘sports tak’ in an Instagram live session.

With T20 World Cup in October-November also unlikely to go ahead in Australia due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Asia Cup’s cancellation allows the BCCI to have a full-fledged Indian Premier League in the same window.

Earlier in May, the executive board of the Asian Cricket Council deferred a decision on the fate of the Asia Cup T20 tournament amid speculation that it might be postponed due to the coronaviruspandemic. It is understood that the ACC was waiting for ICC’s decision on the T20 World Cup in Australia before taking a call on the Asia Cup.

Ganguly was asked about Indian cricket and when can the fans see Virat Kohli’s team back on the field to which he replied that it is very difficult to predict when that can happen.

“It is very difficult to say which series will India play first. Nobody knows when the coronavirus crisis will end. All we can do is wait and watch.

“We are fully prepared for whenever cricket resumes in India but the implementation can only be done on the ground. Stadiums are open now but players are not going there because of the virus threat. We are not in a hurry to resume cricket in India.

“Players health comes first, even if we don’t have any cricket for 5-6 months it is alright. We have never seen a situation like this when cricket has to be stopped for 3-4 months. We don’t have a fixed target to resume cricket at the moment.

“If you ask about the IPL, we don’t know when that can be staged because we need to find a window for that first. The T20 World Cup is scheduled in October-November, the ICC is trying that the tournament goes ahead because it generates a lot of revenue for them. Till the time we get clear-cut directions from the ICC about the T20 World Cup, we cannot decide anything on the IPL.

“So the Indian team will play its first full series in December. Asia Cup has been cancelled in September. So at the moment I cannot say when cricket will resume in India,” Ganguly told India Today.

Ganguly’s statement comes just days after the Pakistan Cricket Board CEO Wasim Khan assured that the Asia Cup 2020 will go ahead as scheduled later this year in either Sri Lanka or the UAE.

Khan had said last month that Pakistan, the original host of the event, had agreed to let Sri Lanka conduct it in return for hosting the next regional event.

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Sumit Seth