Fresh dagger for Cummins’ record payday
This year's Indian Premier League (IPL) is set to be postponed indefinitely amid the COVID-19 pandemic after the country extended a lockdown on its 1.3 billion people until at least May 3 on Tuesday.
The eight-team Twenty20 competition league, which was originally scheduled to begin on March 29, was initially deferred until Wednesday before India announced a three-week lockdown last month.
Pat Cummins, who will miss out on 155 million Indian rupees ($3.2 million) if this year's IPL is cancelled, has suggested the T20 World Cup should take precedence over the IPL whenever cricket resumes.
The Kolkata Knight Riders purchased Cummins for the record sum of 15.5 Crore ($3.2 million) at December's IPL auction after an intense bidding war with the Royal Challengers Bangalore and the Delhi Capitals. The previous highest IPL bid for an overseas player was English all-rounder Ben Stokes, picked up by Pune in 2017 for $3 million.
Now all deals could be off.
Barring the postponement or cancellation of the T20 World Cup, slated to run from October to November in Australia, there won't be another window this year when the world's best cricketers will be free of national-team commitments - other than the original window for the IPL to be finished on May 24.
The International Cricket Council (ICC) already faces a tricky task attempting to squeeze the various scrapped series into a congested international calendar. It will only get harder as more tours continued to be postponed because of the coronavirus.
One of the franchise officials Reuters reached said they were waiting to hear from the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), which met over a conference call on Tuesday.
BCCI president Sourav Ganguly had earlier acknowledged the difficulty in hosting the tournament amid lockdown and the travel restrictions forced by the global health crisis.
"At the present moment, we can't say anything," the former India captain told New India Express newspaper at the weekend.
"Airports are shut, people are stuck at home, offices are locked down, nobody can go anywhere. And it seems this is how it's going to be till the middle of May.
"Where will you get players from, where do players travel. It's just simple common sense that at the moment, nothing is in favour of any kind of sport anywhere in the world, forget IPL."
Cummins said recently he was confident Kolkata would retain his contract - even if the tournament is delayed significantly.
"I'm a little bit (nervous). They obviously haven't cancelled it yet. But the travel ban is still in until April 14th, so I don't expect anything to happen too soon," Cummins told The Herald Sun.
"The last I spoke to (KKR) they were still really confident and hopeful it'll go on at some stage."
If the 26-year-old played all 14 matches in the group stage, he was poised to make $9,226 for every delivery he bowled during the six-week tournament.
Australian teammate Glenn Maxwell signed with the Kings XI Punjab for $2.2 million, while reigning champions the Mumbai Indians paid $1.6 million for paceman Nathan Coulter-Nile.
Originally published as Fresh dagger for Cummins' record payday