IPL franchises turn to WhatsApp groups to answer player queries


By Baidurjo Bhose

New Delhi, April 1 (IANS) With the coronavirus outbreak bringing the world to a standstill, sporting events across the globe have either been suspended or called off. Similarly, the fate of the 13th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) now hangs in balance. The uncertainty has seen players checking with franchises on the situation and road ahead and that has in turn seen the teams communicate with them on WhatsApp groups.

Speaking to IANS, an official of one of the franchises said that players have been looking for answers on the situation as there have been quite a few theories doing the rounds and the management felt it was best to create a group where the players as well as the officials can discuss things.

“See, you do realise that for players, it is all about going out onto the field and performing. Critics can talk about the money factor and stuff, but it is very difficult for cricketers to be sitting at home and not being sure when they will be back on the ground and if at all the IPL will happen this year. Numerous theories in the media has also not helped. So, it was decided to create a WhatsApp group so that their queries can be answered without any confusion,” the official said.

Another franchise official echoed the sentiment and said that some of the youngsters who were to play their first season of IPL this year have time and again been checking the status of the league and creating a group was the perfect solution.

“Rather than listening to people on the outside and getting half-baked information, it is always better that they get the real picture. Till recently we had the youngsters checking if reports that the IPL will not happen this year are true or not. So, it is best if you have a group where you have the management, the coaching staff as well as the players all under one roof,” the official told IANS.

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is now looking at the October-November window to host the 13th edition of the IPL. But the move can only be possible if the ICC decides to postpone the World T20.

A BCCI official told IANS that while there have been talks with regards to hosting the IPL in the October-November window, it will only be possible if the ICC decides to postpone the World T20 to be played in Australia from October 18 to November 15.

When contacted, an ICC official made it clear though that the World T20 is still on as planned and there have been no talks of postponement. “There have been no talks of any postponement to the World T20 that is to be held in October and November this year,” the official said.