BCCI President Sourav Ganguly has confirmed that the Indian side will be touring Sri Lanka in July to play 3 ODIs and 5 T20Is, most probably with a second-string side owing to the all-format players travelling to England. Ganguly further conceded that IPL 2021 cannot restart in India.
The 2021 edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) might have got abruptly cancelled, but there will be no shortage of international action with respect to India as BCCI President Sourav Ganguly has confirmed that the national team will be touring Sri Lanka for an extended white-ball series in July. India, in early 2020, played Sri Lanka in a three-match T20I series at home, but in July the Men in Blue will be playing 3 ODIs and 5 T20Is against the 2014 WT20 champions. As many have suspected, the BCCI could very well send a second-string team to the Island Nation as the tour, most likely, will clash with the England series, in which all the all-format players will be present.
“No. India is supposed to go to Sri Lanka for three ODIs and five T20Is. There are lots of organisational hazards like 14-day quarantine. It can’t happen in India. This quarantine is tough to handle. Too early to say how we can find a slot to complete the IPL,” Ganguly told Sportstar, confirming that the IPL cannot be held in India due to the Sri Lanka tour.
On Tuesday, May 4, the BCCI confirmed the indefinite postponement of IPL 2021 following a major COVID outbreak, but the board came under immense criticism for not pulling the plug on the tournament earlier. Answering why the BCCI chose to let the IPL go on for as long as they did, Ganguly said that it’s easier to make judgements in hindsight, and defended the board’s decision to carry on with the tournament till the first week of May.
“You can say that now in hindsight that the IPL should have been called off earlier. Mumbai and Chennai (legs) did not have cases. Only when the IPL reached Delhi and Ahmedabad did the cases rise. People will say a lot of things in any case. The English Premier League had so many people affected. But they could reschedule the matches. But you can’t do that with IPL. You stop it for seven days and it is done. Players go back home and then the process of quarantine starts from scratch,” Ganguly said.
Ganguly and the BCCI have also come under fire, of late, for not doing ‘enough’ for Women’s cricket, but the former Indian skipper lashed out at his critics. The BCCI President insisted that the board have done everything within their power to make sure Women’s cricket in the country is thriving and asserted that the BCCI are ‘doing their best’.
“But there is a lot of women’s cricket happening. We had to cancel the women’s IPL and schedule it for September-October. Now the women’s team is leaving for England on June 2. They have a lot of cricket there. They have got England, Australia. Then South Africa comes here. Some of them are playing 100-ball cricket in England. Some are playing the Big Bash in Australia. Then they go to New Zealand for a series and then they play the World Cup.
“Half of them don’t know what is happening. What to do? We have been living with this deadly virus. Other than men’s cricket, we had the women’s IPL. The South Africa women played here. It is a wrong perception that people have of us not promoting women’s cricket. What can I do? Our women are going to play Test cricket after eight years. They play a Test in Bristol and six ODIs (One-Day Internationals) and T20Is (Twenty20 Internationals). Would you still accuse me of not supporting women’s cricket? The West Indies will come and play in India. I think we are doing our best.”