Kumble, Laxman ‘optimistic’ IPL can take place this year

Former India cricketers Anil Kumble and VVS Laxman are hopeful that the 13th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) will take place in 2020, even if it has to happen infront on empty stands.

The league, which was due to start on March 29, currently stands indefinitely postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Yes we are hopeful and optimistic that there’s still a possibility if we can cram in the schedule,” ICC Cricket Committee Chairman Anil Kumble said while speaking on Star Sports Cricket Connected show.

“If we are going to have a stadium without spectators, then probably have three or four venues; there’s still a possibility, we are all optimistic,” he added.

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.

Meanwhile, Laxman said that what can be done is to find a venue in the country which has three or four grounds so as to avoid much travelling, which will be a matter of concern amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Absolutely, and also make sure that all the stakeholders have a say. Anil (Kumble) mentioned that you can have two or four venues, I still feel that you should identify one venue, which probably has three or four grounds; if at all you find that kind of a venue because travel is again going to be quite challenging,” said Laxman. “You don’t know who’s going to be where at the airports, so that I’m sure the franchises and the BCCI will be looking into.”

Australia pacer Pat Cummins has also said IPL would be a “great fit” if the T20 World Cup is postponed this year.

“That would be nice … the IPL would be a great fit,” Cummins was quoted as saying by wwos.nine.com.au.

“(It’s) T20, brings together the best players in the world… it would be great for cricket.

“You have millions and millions around the world watching that format and I’m sure this year could potentially be even more after a long break off cricket,” said Cummins who was roped in by Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) for a whopping amount of Rs 15.5 crores.

“There’s a lot of reasons why I want it to go ahead, but the main one is it’s a great tournament,” added the 27-year old No.1 ranked Test bowler.