On Wednesday, BCCI CEO Rahul Johri was involved in a webinar organized by Twenty-First-Century Media. During the same, he mentioned that cricketing activities can start “in earnest” only after the monsoon. However, Rahul remains “optimistic” of seeing the IPL happen this year.
John spoke about how the safety of players is of utmost importance. He also said that it is up to the player to decide what’s best for them and how they should train. He said, “Every individual has the right to decide on their safety and one should respect that. We are going to be guided by the Government of India in its entirety, whatever are the government guidelines is what we’ll follow…Cricketing activity in earnest can start practically only after the monsoon season.”
Rahul Johri also shared his thoughts on the Indian Premier League and its future. He mentions logistical issues, safety protocols, and flight restrictions as factors that need to be considered before deciding the future of it.
“The flavor of the IPL is that the best players around the world come and play. Everyone is committed to maintaining that flavor. Of course, it is going to be a step-by-step process, so you cannot expect normalization tomorrow. We need to factor what the government advisories will be. Right now there are no flights,” he said.
“At some point, flights will open and everybody needs to quarantine themselves. How will that impact the schedules because as it is the schedules are extremely tight? So there are a lot of moving parts. Having said that we stay optimistic. Hopefully the situation post the monsoon will improve and we approach it that point of time,” Johri added.
Johri also spoke on challenges BCCI will face to adjust its long domestic season. BCCi’s domestic season starts in October and goes on until May and has more than 2000 matches.
“In this changing scenario the scheduling of domestic cricket needs to be completely relooked at because today there is a team which can travel 50 kilometers to play a match or 3000 kilometers to play a match,” he said.
“Everybody plays every other team home and away. Now in this scenario where travel is restricted, where players’ safety, support staff safety is of paramount importance, how do you conduct these leagues? It is a discussion that will be had and interesting options will have to come up. Innovation will be the key in this,” Johri added.