What’s the story?
The 2017 Indian Premier League that was scheduled to take place on the 4th of February has been postponed owing to the delay in the Supreme Court appointing a panel of administrators to run the apex board for cricket in the country.
A definitive date has not been set for the auction, but it is widely believed that it will be held sometime between the 20th – 25th of February.
"The Committee of Administrators (COA) met the concerned BCCI officials today to take stock of the urgent and important matters mainly concerning the successful conduct of IPL 2017." a BCCI media release said.
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The Supreme Court had earlier sacked BCCI President Anurag Thakur and chief secretary Ajay Shirke after the body failed to pay heed to several warnings issued by them.
The next step for the SC was to appoint a 4-member panel of administrators that would overlook all the functions of the board. At the end of January, the BCCI named the 4-member committee chaired by Vinod Rai, former Comptroller and Auditor General of India.
The heart of the matter
Anticipation was building towards the IPL auction with teams already scouting for players that would add balance to the squad. There has been plenty of talk of the English players also being picked up by teams and thus there was much more scrutiny over their performances in the 3-match T20I series against India.
The IPL auction will now he held in the third week of February, by which time the BCCI should be a more settled body.
At the end of the Committee of Administrators meeting on February 1st, they confirmed that the IPL would start on the 5th of April and assured all stakeholders that the league would be run smoothly.
With more time to go for the auction, it gives teams time to plan for their squads even better. Reports recently emerged that the English and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) would fine Ben Stokes a hefty amount for signing up with the IPL team. Such a move would affect the chances of English players being picked up.
Further, with the Inter-Zonal T20 tournament going on currently, it gives players plenty of time to impress team owners ahead of the auction.
This move comes as no surprise given the state of affairs in the BCCI currently. The repercussions of the SC’s landmark hearing in early January are still being felt and it will take months before the matter is finally settled.
One can only hope that the Committee of Administrators has a better time at the helm than the previous heads.