BCCI are now in talks with Cricket South Africa (CSA) for a T20I series before the IPL this year. India and South Africa were involved in a three-match bilateral series in March this year but the series was cancelled due to the deadly COVID-19 pandemic. The BCCI are now working on various options with STAR, one of which is to hold a series against South Africa, however the 13th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) is most likely set to take place in the UAE this year in September. The BCCI is thus attempting to conduct a few international matches before the IPL.

The BCCI and CSA are in talks to organize a three-match T20I series in the middle east. However a three-match T20I series like this was never a part of the original Future Tours Program (FTP) of the International Cricket Council ICC). India and South Africa were involved in a three-match series in March as mentioned earlier but was not completed. The BCCI had been looking at September end and November first week to conduct the 13th edition of the IPL but according to Mumbai Mirror report the host broadcasters weren’t too happy to forego the Diwali weekend. The BCCI as a result are in talks with STAR to hold a series against the Proteas. BCCI is also looking at beginning the IPL on September 19th instead of September 26th to reduce evening matches, in line with STAR’s wishes. The Mumbai Mirror also reported that the IPL franchises are not really happy about releasing their players just before the start of the tournament. IPL Governing Council chairman Brijesh Patel said that the matter would be discussed soon. “We will discuss everything at the Governing Council meeting.” Brijesh Patel was quoted as saying by the Mumbai Mirror. A Times Of India(TOI) report stated that the three-match series between India and South Africa will be a “Catalyst” for STAR, who are eying Cricket South Africa (CSA) home broadcasting rights as well.

During the month of May it was reported that India and South Africa are planning on conducting a series between the two teams this year during the month of August. On Tuesday, Brijesh Patel confirmed that IPL 2020 will be taking place in the UAE due to the COVID-19 situation in India. Although an official announcement is yet to be made the BCCI is waiting for an approval from the government before deciding and finalizing the entire schedule.

By Arvind Krishnan

Cricket writer, statistician and analyst. An unorthodox media student, marketing runs in his blood. Sports Marketer and analyst.