A cash-strapped Cricket Australia (CA) is banking heavily on the series, reportedly worth A$300 million ($195 million), to help it cope with an acute financial crisis triggered by the coronavirus pandemic.
India captain Virat Kohli and his teammates would be ready to spend two weeks in quarantine in Australia if that helped the tour go ahead as planned later this year, a top official of the Board of Control for Cricket in India said.
BCCI treasurer Arun Dhumal offered encouraging words, saying India cricketers would be willing to isolate themselves before playing four Tests and three One-Day Internationals in December and January. “There is no choice – everyone will have to do that. You would want to resume the cricket,” Dhumal told the Sydney Morning Herald.
The boards have been discussing the possibility of a fifth Test but Dhumal feels playing extra limited-overs matches would make more financial sense. “If there is a window available it would be up to the boards to decide whether they wanted to go for a test match or maybe two ODIs or maybe two T20s. Given the revenue loss they will have on account of lockdown, post-lockdown they will want to have revenue and revenue most likely will come from ODIs or T20s much more than a Test match.”
Dhumal is less optimistic about the preceding Twenty20 World Cup and did not fancy a flagship tournament in Australia featuring players who are still rusty as they emerge from the lockdown. “Would you want to be without training for that long and straight away go and play (the) World Cup? That is a call every board has to take. It seems to be difficult.” he said.
“The BCCI has had to indefinitely postpone its own cash-cow Indian Premier League (IPL) and Dhumal said an alternative window for the tournament is yet to be identified. Once things get clear, then only will we be able to go back to the drawing board and think about re-starting cricket.”