Following the adjournment of several home series and the deferment of this year's Indian Premier League (IPL), the BCCI is likely to cancel this year's domestic season due to the coronavirus pandemic and the ever-increasing cases in India.
Unlike the IPL, the domestic season cannot be shifted to the Emirates. According to a report in the Times of India, the entire domestic calendar could be suspended because of the 'unrelenting' COVID-19 cases.
"In certain states, it's bad. In other states, it's worse. The numbers are unrelenting. In such a scenario, how does one plan anything over a period of three or four months, when you're not sure what's in store tomorrow," sources told Times of India.
Earlier, BCCI President Sourav Ganguly had notified all the state associations regarding the curtailed domestic calendar. Even though the BCCI is quite keen to start the season, it will be unrealistic to expect the season to be commenced due to the logistical hurdles for the BCCI.
"The intent was always there but circumstances haven't really changed. Ganguly's letter was a little too early in the day, add those in the know, and state associations are in agreement with the plans being put in place."
Preparation of bio-secure bubbles for the teams is a massive challenge for BCCI
It will be too strenuous and impractical to prepare and maintain a bio-secure bubble for 40 odd teams. Frequent travelling and accommodation of the teams present more problems for BCCI.
"First, the state government permissions would be required. Then the city-specific municipalities will need to give a go-ahead. And even if that happens, preparing a bio-secure bubble for 37 Ranji teams, five Duleep Trophy teams, and the several other domestic teams would be next to impossible. Travel and accommodation will be another concern. It's not feasible," remarked the source.
With the rising number of COVID-19 cases in India, many players and officials are expected to be sceptical of leaving their families and participating in the domestic competition during these challenging times. The cancellation of the whole season, thus, is on the cards and an official announcement from BCCI should be looming just around the corner.