Pat Cummins: IPL return in October would be ‘great for cricket’
Australian paceman Pat Cummins is excited about the prospect of the Indian Premier League (IPL) returning in the autumn. The vice-captain of the Australian test side believes the IPL 2020 would be a huge tonic for the cricket world, especially if the T20 World Cup – set to be hosted in Australia – is postponed. The IPL was paused indefinitely in March, but reports suggest that the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is considering a return for the world’s biggest T20 competition between September and November.
The BCCI president, Sourav Ganguly, who has been tipped to become the next ICC president, has written directly to all state associations in recent weeks. Within Ganguly’s communications, he has asked each franchise to ready themselves for a return to IPL competition.
Chennai and Bengaluru the likely venues for IPL 2020
A story in the Mumbai Mirror suggests that the BCCI are weighing up the potential of staging the tournament between the window of September 26 and November 8. The two main venues being considered to stage the majority of IPL 2020 matches are Chennai and Bengaluru. These locations would be a good strategic choice, given that the monsoon season is nowhere near as harsh here. There’s no doubt the BCCI will do everything in their power to ensure the tournament goes ahead, given that it would lose as much as ₹4,000 crores if not – leaving a gaping hole in the board’s coffers.
Cummins is the headline acquisition for IPL 2020
Cummins was recently quizzed about the likelihood of the IPL being played this year and he said that it would be “a great fit” if it was able to be staged in and around the T20 World Cup. Cummins said that T20 leagues like the IPL “bring together the best players in the world” and are an excellent advert for the sport. Cummins was particularly looking forward to this year’s IPL having become the competition’s most expensive overseas player in history during the most recent IPL auction. The Kolkata Knight Riders forked out $2.2 million for the world’s leading test bowler, who could give the Knight Riders the impetus they need to reach the IPL 2020 playoffs.
Australia’s domestic cricket season will begin in early October, which means that Cummins will almost certainly be unavailable for selection for the New South Wales Blues until the beginning of the Australian summer. It’s unlikely that Cummins will get the chance to have some game time down under before the IPL commences. The Blues will have the likes of fast bowler Chris Tremain waiting in the wings to deputize in Cummins’ absence for NSW.
Other major deals at the IPL 2020 auction
The Knight Riders were by no means the only big-spenders in the latest IPL auction, with a thirst for Australian players seemingly the order of the day. Kings XI Punjab also spent $1.5 million on all-rounder Glenn Maxwell. Meanwhile, dedicated T20 ace Nathan Coulter-Nile was also bagged by the Mumbai Indians for $1.1 million. The Mumbai Indians are considered the 4/1 favorites for the IPL 2020 with VBet, who are one of the few operators to currently provide odds, with most of the leading Indian Premier League betting sites not yet displaying prices ahead of the restarted competition. By contrast, the most expensive homegrown player signed by an IPL franchise was Piyush Chawla for $950,000.
Swashbuckling West Indian veteran Chris Gayle will once again line up for the Kings XI Punjab. Gayle has become a permanent fixture at the top of the order for this franchise, with fireworks almost always assured whether he hits a 50 or five. Although Gayle is committed to the 2020 IPL campaign, whenever that may be, the 40-year-old has opted not to take part in this year’s Caribbean Premier League (CPL) due to personal reasons. Gayle was due to appear for the St. Lucia Zouks this coming campaign, having fallen out with his former team, the Tallawahs. Nevertheless, the world’s highest T20 run-scorer appears focused on getting fit and firing for the IPL.