The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has called a virtual Special General Meeting on May 29.
In a letter to all the members and affiliated units – which Sportstar has seen – the BCCI secretary Jay Shah has written that there will be “discussions on the upcoming cricket season in the view of the pandemic situation prevailing in the country.”
While the meeting is expected to focus on hosting the T20 World Cup amid the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, there will also be deliberations on the upcoming domestic season.
The Board had to defer the junior cricket tournaments due to the pandemic and it is believed that a road map could be set up for the cricketing season this year keeping all the factors in mind. The Board had to cancel the Ranji Trophy last season and in its Annual General Meeting in December, it had decided to compensate the players financially. It is believed that there could be discussions on that front.
“In these trying times, we need to plan things properly and in the meeting, there will be talks on various aspects. A lot needs to be discussed to ensure that the season goes ahead smoothly,” a Board official said.
The timing of the meeting is also significant because the International Cricket Council (ICC) is expected hold a meeting on June 1 to decide on the venue for the T20 World Cup, and the BCCI plans to discuss the way forward with hosting the tournament in October-November.
While other issues – including the Future Tours and Programmes and the women’s cricket – would be up for discussions, the prime objective would be to come up with a strategy ahead of the ICC meeting.
In its Apex Council meeting in April, the Board had shortlised nine venues for the T20 World Cup, but with the country witnessing a second wave of the pandemic, there is a strong possibility that the entire tournament will be shifted to the United Arab Emirates.
However, on the face of it, the Board officials are optimistic about hosting the tournament in India if the situation improves. “The ICC has to take the call on the tournament, but from our end, we will have to be ready. We will discuss all the possibilities, assess the situation and then come up with a plan, which could be put forward to the ICC,” a Board official said.
Earlier, both the BCCI and the ICC had indicated that they will shift the tournament to UAE in case the situation does not improve in India and a ICC team was scheduled to visit the venues for an inspection. However, the plan was cancelled due to the second wave and most states implementing lockdown.
The BCCI had conducted the Indian Premier League (IPL) in a cluster caravan format, but the tournament had to be postponed midway after multiple players and support staff tested positive for the virus.