Every effort is being taken to ensure that the Australia-India series later in the year goes ahead despite the coronavirus pandemic threatening global sporting events. This was confirmed by Arun Singh Dhumal, the BCCI treasurer, who told the Sydney Morning Herald newspaper that India would be ready for a two-week quarantine period if it means the tour could go ahead as planned.
"Two weeks is not that long a lockdown. That would be ideal for any sportsman because when you are in quarantine for such a long period, then going to another country and having a two-week lockdown it would be a good thing to do. We'll have to see what the norms are post this lockdown," Dhumal said.
India are scheduled to play four Tests, three ODIs and three T20Is on the tour with possibilities of an extra Test squeezed in to offset the loss of revenue due to the lockdown. But Dhumal favoured a couple of ODIs or even a T20I in place of a Test citing the extra revenue generated from white-ball games.
"That discussion [on five Tests] took place before the lockdown," he said. "If there is a window available it would be up to the boards to decide whether they wanted to go for a Test match or maybe two ODIs or maybe two T20s. Given the revenue loss they will have on account of lockdown, post-lockdown they will want to have revenue and revenue most likely will come from ODIs or T20s much more than a Test match.
"For any board for that matter, there has been a lot of revenue loss on account of this lockdown and Covid-19, so they would need to think about that."
Dhumal though did not sound too optimistic of the Twenty20 World Cup going ahead in Australia at the start of the season. He felt that without lack of match-practice it would be difficult for the players to straight away get into such a high-profile tournament.
"They will have been out of cricket for a long time. Would you want to be without training for that long and straight away go and play [the] World Cup?" he said to The Age newspaper. "That is a call every board has to take. It seems to be difficult."
On chances of the IPL happening in place of the T20 World Cup, Dhumal dismissed them as just "media speculation". "We haven't planned anything as of now," Dhumal said. "We can't think of IPL getting back yet. Players coming in from other countries, whether they'll be willing to come here and be quarantined for two weeks and play IPL is not known. How can we think of the IPL? This is all media speculation. There is nothing as of now. Once things get clear, then only will we be able to go back to the drawing board and think about re-starting cricket," he concluded.