Lack of clarity from the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on the 13th edition of the Indian Premier League has put the franchises in a fix over charting their plans. The money-spinning league is scheduled in the UAE from September 19.
“Till today we haven’t heard anything from the BCCI or the IPL governing council. It’s only through various sources or from the media that we have come to know of the duration of the tournament. There are a lot of logistics involved and unless we are informed about the details, we will find it tough to make our plans,” a franchise official told The Telegraph on Tuesday.
“Once the governing council meeting is over, the BCCI will sit down with us. There are a lot of things involved with movement of players and setting up base in a foreign country. Moreover the Indian players haven’t taken the field since March. There’s the need to acclimatise to the conditions in the UAE and the sooner we get there the better. But unless the BCCI tells us about the broad plan we are unable to do anything,” the official said.
Another franchise co-owner said: “We are used to the BCCI’s ways. The franchises are the last to be told about any plan.”
The IPL governing council has decided to postpone its meeting by a day, which will now be held on Sunday.
“These are not normal times. We need to know about the standard operating procedures for the tournament. For example, if we are to make our own travel arrangements and accommodation in the UAE we have to start right away. Otherwise our choice of hotels may not be available,” a franchise official said.
According to sources, Chennai Super Kings are planning to reach Dubai around August 10 to resume their training. The Mahendra Singh Dhoni-led franchise is likely to be the first to be there as the rest have targeted August 15 to start preparations.
The planned conditioning camp for the contracted Indian players in Ahmedabad could also jeopardise the franchises plans. It is still not clear whether the players with the different franchises will be asked to report to the camp.
“We will have to go by what the BCCI says,” said an official. “But at the same time we would like to have all our players together. That is important for team bonding and strategy planning. After all, most of the players have been out of touch for close to four months.”
The revenue sharing model is also bothering the franchises in the absence of no gate receipts. “Maybe the Board will let us know about their plans. We are hearing that fans might be allowed in the stadiums. The gate receipts will obviously go to
the UAE board. We hope the BCCI will compensate us in some way. Remember, every penny counts.”
The BCCI is expected to sit with the franchises a day after its governing council meeting.