IPL must go on; Dhoni one of the finest minds: Anirudh Chaudhry

Former Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) Treasurer Anirudh Chaudhry feels the Indian Premier League (IPL) show must go on as it important not only from the revenue point of view, but also for domestic cricketers.

Chaudhry also backed M.S. Dhoni, saying one of the greatest cricketing brains still has much to offer to Indian cricket.

“It is the IPL GC’s decision, but my view is that effort has to be made to try and have that situation where the show must go on,” Chaudhry said during a Webinar arranged by Neerja Modi School on Zoom platform.

“It is important for domestic players also. The revenue is also important from it.”

The 13th edition of the IPL, which was due to start on March 29, currently stands indefinitely postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The T20 World Cup is slated to take place in Australia in October and November, but due to the coronavirus pandemic the global tournament is most likely to be postponed. And BCCI is looking at a end-September to early-November window for the cash-rich league.

Asked about the possibility of the IPL being moved away from India keeping in mind the health crisis, Chaudhry said: “Even if the GC decides to shift the matches…it has to be in a country where time difference is not too much. Broadcasters will want that 8 pm slot. It is important for them.”

Speaking of decorated former India captain Dhoni, whom he has seen from close quarters, Chaudhry said: “Dhoni is fit, he is the best wicketkeeper in India and one of the finest minds in the game.

“During a match you would see him asking a player to move to his right, and then to the left. The player would end up standing in the same place, but the idea is to make him alert. Before that his mind might have been wavering a bit,” Chaudhry said.

“If I would be a decision maker, I would have him in the team.”

Speaking of BCCI’s success in running the sport, Chaudhry said players like Sachin Tendulkar would also come up with valuable advice which would help.

“Within the BCCI, we share a very good relation with players. Among other things which I have seen, we have been blessed with players who would come up with suggestions also.

“A (Virender) Sehwag coming and giving you a suggestion. MS Dhoni…Sachin had his own way of communicating….”

Chaudhry praised the office bearers and the professionals working at the BCCI for their effort as they remain unsung.

Chaudhry, a former secretary in Haryana Cricket Association, also lauded teenage batswoman Shafali Verma while talking about women’s cricket in the country, saying the 16-year old Haryana girl would go places.

“Shafali Verma will revolutionise women’s cricket in India,” he said.

Chaudhry also said he is a huge fan of school cricket, saying there should be a school league and that he would like to see school cricket ecosystem becoming self-sufficient.