The final stages of the 13th edition of the Indian Premier League are underway in the UAE and no wonder the BCCI is incredibly proud of its success amid the coronavirus-induced pandemic. IPL 2020 was originally scheduled to start on March 29 in India but finally started on September 19 in the UAE.
IPL 2020 concludes on November 10, with the final being on that day, and the anticipation for the next season has already begun. Needless to say, the upcoming season of the IPL won’t be as delayed as it was this year, due to the unforeseen circumstances.
BCCI President Ganguly, speaking to India Today Sports Consulting Editor, Boria Majumdar in the latest episode of India Today Inspiration, said that the IPL 2021 season would be staged in April and May and of what we understand, the venue will be India as Ganguly assured that UAE was just a one-off arrangement for IPL 2020 alone.
“Yeah, absolutely. April, May we’ll have another one [IPL 2021 season],” Ganguly told India Today.
“No, no it’s not true [the speculations]. The UAE was only for the IPL. Yeah, yeah. We will host England in India. We will host the domestic cricket in India. Ranji Trophy, we will create bio bubble and we will do it.
“We’ll be fine. We’ll be fine. ISL starting in November in Goa, we’ll be fine. The scare, that is not there anymore and the IPL has helped a lot,” Ganguly added.
“[have taken ] 16 tests covid tests (laughs), so far being good,” said the BCCI President.
“We’ll see once the final finishes [about the celebrations of the board for pulling off the IPL]. We have got to work very hard to get Jay drink, he doesn’t drink at all. I don’t drink at all but we’ll see.”
Quality of cricket in IPL sets it apart from all T20 leagues: Ganguly
The Caribbean Premier League (CPL 2020) concluded just a little more than a week before the IPL 2020 started. Many IPL bound players and staff including Kieron Pollard, Dwayne Bravo, Brendon McCullum, flew to the UAE from the Caribbean.
The CPL is famous for its explosive batsmen and the energy that the T20 tournament brings. However, the BCCI President pointed out that somehow the IPL is able to trump all other T20 leagues across the globe with its quality.
“Yeah absolutely, it’s the quality of cricket [in the IPL], it’s the madness about cricket in this country. It’s the fans who actually make it successful. And the competition. It’s the quality of player, you go around and see the leagues in the world and I respect them, but this is different [the IPL],” Ganguly upheld the quality in the IPL.
“This is...you see a Pollard, you see a Pollard turning up in the Caribbean Premier League and a Pollard turning up in the IPL - it’s two different kettle of fish. His captaincy has been outstanding for Mumbai [Indians] without Rohit Sharma. You see a de Villiers at this age [of 36].”
Please watch @SGanguly99 today on #Inspiration where he answers every question you can have- @ImRo45 @ImIshant Women’s cricket, @IPL 2021, Domestic cricket, Aus tour and its importance, hosting England in India and more. @IndiaToday 530pm. pic.twitter.com/CLr3ghbqT7— Boria Majumdar (@BoriaMajumdar) November 7, 2020
“See the competition, the owners are obsessed with their teams. They are just obsessed with their IPL team. I remember when this COVID was going on and I used to get calls from the owners ‘we must do the IPL’ and ‘how can IPL not happen’ but I said ‘we have to look at the coronavirus’ but he said ‘no no everything will be fine but IPL has to happen, we’ll die without cricket’ - so it’s that intensity which is remarkable,” Gnaguly said about how much these franchises mean to their owners.
Women’s IPL with 7-8 teams in 2 years’ time: Ganguly
Earlier, as India Women’s Test captain Mithali Raj told India Today about a full-fledged Women’s IPL in a couple of years, BCCI President has spoken on the same lines. A 6-day Women’s T20 Challenge, involving 3 teams, is underway in the UAE and now the BCCI is looking forward to hosting a full-fledged IPL for the women after how they performed and attracted crowds in the T20 World Cup early in 2020.
“Yeah, India, I think we focus on every cricket, whether it’s men’s cricket, women’s cricket, junior cricket, under 16 cricket because infrastructure is very very important and every level of cricket needs to be looked at so that the team at the top becomes the best and that’s why India keeps producing talent because their under 19 structure and under 16 structure is also at as good,” Ganguly added.
“Women’s cricket all around the world has taken off. You see the women’s final in Australia this year. They had 80,000 people at the MCG which is as good as having a men’s final and India has done well where two back to back finals in England they lost and they lost at the MCG this year, so it’s very important that we continue with the talent, it’ll only get bigger, at the present moment there are only four teams in the women’s IPL and I believe that in a couple of years’ time we are good enough to have a separate IPL with seven teams, eight teams like the franchise based team for the women as well.”