No Certainty For 2020 IPL And Mega Auction
Cricket's hiatus will have a knock-on effect way beyond 2020, with the high-profile Indian Premier League's much-anticipated 2021 'mega auction' looking likely to be delayed as questions grow over this season's competition.
Players around the world are waiting to hear more regarding this year's IPL, as has been the case for almost a month.
On March 13, IPL organisers pushed the start of the tournament back to April 15 because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
There has been no further formal update as India's board and franchise owners continue to discuss options for the Twenty20 bonanza that was slated to end on May 24.
The league's five-year broadcast deal, running until 2022, is worth $3.2 billion, underlining part of the complexity involved in making the decision to postpone or cancel.
As sporting organisations around the world cut costs, uncertainty also clouds India's plans for the 2021 season.
The widespread expectation was that the bulk of the world's talent would be released from franchises and up for grabs at the next auction, with some insiders tipping superstars could be sold for more than $5 million.
The IPL may instead opt to allow clubs to retain more players for 2021, with the Indian Express already reporting there will be no 'mega auction' next year.
Meanwhile, former Australia captain Michael Clarke claimed some players were "too scared" to sledge Virat Kohli and other Indians in international games because of fears it would affect their chances of IPL riches.
"I feel that Australian cricket, and probably every other team over a little period ... sucked up to India," Clarke said on Big Sports Breakfast.
"The players were like 'I'm not going to sledge Kohli, I want him to pick me for Bangalore so I can make my $US1 million for my six weeks'."
Australia are scheduled to host India in a four-Test series in 2020-21.
Bowler Pat Cummins, who was sold for an international record of 155 million Indian rupees ($A3.3m) in 2019, said last week he is in a "holding pattern" regarding the IPL but his team, Kolkata Knight Riders, 10timing.com were providing regular updates.
A shortened IPL could be staged later this year, but that would fall outside the window set aside for the tournament by the International Cricket Council.
Cummins, Steve Smith and David Warner headline the list of Australian players due to be involved this year, while Ricky Ponting, Andrew McDonald and Simon Katich are in line to coach franchises.