The Test assignments against New Zealand and England as well as the limited-overs series against Sri Lanka remain the Indian cricket team’s immediate focus but the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), is also working out its plans for the remainder of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021. After reports of the BCCI being in talks with England & Wales Cricket Board (ECB) to alter the schedule of India vs England Test series for the second half of IPL Season 14 emerged, Harsha Bhogle feels the said situation will test the close relationship between the two boards.
The IPL campaign had to be suspended after Covid-19 positive cases start to emerge among players and support staff in as many as four franchises. With 31 games still to go, the season remains inconclusive and the BCCI is still looking to chart out a plan that could see them organised the remaining games.
The BCCI, hence, has reportedly asked ECB to start the Test series in the last week of July and reduce the gap between subsequent matches in order to wrap up the series early, vacating the entire September for the second-half of IPL.
Though none of the board has made an official comment on the matter, renowned cricket commentator and pundit, Harsha Bhogle, feels these talks will be a big test of the close relationship of the two boards.
“India’s request to the @ECB_cricket to reschedule the tests to try and accommodate the 2nd half of the #IPL is going to test the close relationship the two boards enjoy. There will be a trade-off but it will be wonderful if a common path can be found. Interesting times ahead,” he wrote in his first tweet.
“With most other countries, even reducing a test wouldn’t be a huge factor but England sells out test matches; it is the spiritual home of test cricket & tickets are bought well in advance. But I am fairly certain there will be a win-win proposition for @ECB_cricket & @bcci there”, his second tweet read.
The IPL remains the most profitable property of the BCCI. Board president Sourav Ganguly had already said that the failure to organise the remainder of the T20 league this year would see the BCCI incur losses between INR 2000 to 2500 crore.