Atherton doesn’t see IPL being rescheduled

LONDON, May 5: Former England captain Mike Atherton doesn’t see a window this year to complete the suspended Indian Premier League.

The world’s biggest T20 league was suspended indefinitely on Tuesday after multiple COVID-19 cases were detected in the tournament’s bio-bubble.

“Just don’t see where the gap (in the schedule) is. India come to England for five Test matches in the summer — and that ends around mid-September. Then the T20 World Cup (in October-November), which is supposed to be in India – but who knows, they may have to move that tournament to the UAE,” Atherton told Sky Sports.

“There is maybe a gap there, but all countries will already have their pre-T20 World Cup preparations baked in now — England are due to go to Bangladesh and Pakistan, for example — and you’re also asking India’s players, who have spent long, long periods inside these bubbles, and then asking them to spend more time in one, it seems hard to me,” he said.

Atherton said the writing was on the wall after four teams reported positive cases.

“It became inevitable once the Covid cases got inside the franchises’ bubbles…Once that happened, the tournament became impossible really.

“Up until that point, they could make an argument that in a pretty horrendous time for India, the IPL was providing a bit of daily respite for people to watch in the evening.

“That argument held water, just about, but it didn’t once the bubbles were breached,” said Atherton.

Twenty nine out of the 60 games were completed before the tournament was suspended.(PTI)