With the Australian government deciding to allow limited fans to sporting events, former India captain Sunil Gavaskar feels the chances of the T20 World Cup have started to look bright again. On Friday, Australia's Prime Minister Scott Morrison hinted at a return of up to 10,000 spectators at sporting venues from July.
Several sports league and events have taken place during this phase but without the presence of audience. But Australia is looking to salvage the T20 World Cup in October-November. Morrison said, initially, stadiums with a capacity below 40,000 will be allowed to house up to 10,000 fans, leaving out iconic cricket grounds like MCG, SCG and Adelaide Oval. That said, with a flattening of curve in the number of Coronavirus cases in Australia, the country may be able to stage the T20 World Cup as scheduled after all.
"After the announcement by the Australian government, there seems to be a possibility of conducting a World T20 in October. May be the teams will have to reach three weeks earlier, have seven days of practice games and also 14-day quarantine," Gavaskar told Aaj Tak.
"If ICC believes that World T20 can happen, then having IPL looks difficult because it could only be held if World T20 is postponed but after the announcement (by Australia PM Scott Morrison), IPL in October looks difficult."
The ICC has twice deferred its decision regarding the future of the T20 World Cup, during its meetings on May 27 and June 10. The latest is that a call is expected to be taken on the matter next month. The staging of the T20 World Cup was linked with the IPL as it was believed that if the plug is in fact pulled off the ICC event in Australia, the BCCI has the right to pitch for this year's IPL to be conducted during the same window.
However, as per IPL CEO Brijesh Patel, the plan now is to get the IPL going somewhere in September-October, and by judging by BCCI president Sourav Ganguly's statements that the board is doing everything possible to make sure the T20 tournament takes place, there is no reason to believe why the IPL cannot take place this year.
Gavaskar however, is apprehensive about that window, and with Sri Lanka and the UAE pitching their interest to play host, the former India batsman feels it might be a good idea even if it means matches are played in empty stadiums.
"September you can't have IPL in India due to monsoon. But may be in Sri Lanka from early September with teams playing each other once instead of double header. Maybe you can think of that," Gavaskar said.
"Fans lift your game. The atmosphere is very different when they are present. Obviously, players will lose out on that. Also, they will be wary of a team huddle, also may be a fist bump after a good shot. Dejection will be there. Youth are energetic lot and there is no outlet to spend that energy. How much exercise you do or spend time at the gymnasium, you want to play your sport - be it cricket, tennis or badminton."