Post Covid-19: Simultaneous Series may be a new normal

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The Covid-19 pandemic has put a halt to every sporting event around the world. Currently, the world is preparing itself for post Covid-19 scenarios. Sporting events across globe are trying to chart out means to organise a tournament.

Cricket is no exception to the rule, and according to a report by The Hindu, BCCI may adopt an innovative path to make up for lost time. BCCI is considering playing simultaneous Test and T20I series to bring the sport back to its audiences.

BCCI wants to select two different squads and field them separately and play a Test series and a T20I series simultaneously. The Board believes that it will be in the interest of every stakeholder from sponsors to spectators.

Simultaneous Series in the Past

Australia was a part of such simultaneous series back in 2017. In February, Australia first hosted Sri Lanka in a T20I at Adelaide Oval.

On the next day, Australia started a four-Test series in India at Pune. In both the series, two different Australian squads participated. It was virtually a simultaneous series played by Australia.

England was a part of two Test tours playing at once in 1929-30 against West Indies and New Zealand. Both tests started on 21st February, one in Auckland and another in Georgetown.

England captain, Eoin Morgan said that he would be on board with simultaneous series. He believes it is the only way to squeeze rest of the season into the time left.

Will ramp up the finances

As Eoin Morgan also mentioned, simultaneous series will allow the sport to make up for the lost time and matches.

Stakeholders like sponsors, cricketing boards, broadcasters, etc will be able to financially recover the loss incurred.

The financial recovery will in turn bring back lost jobs and undo decisions of pay cuts in cricketing boards.

It will provide double delight for viewers and they will have multiple options to choose from. Viewers will get to watch test during the day and T20 under the floodlights.

Simultaneous series requires separate squads, this could mean that more players will get an opportunity to represent India and gain exposure.

Considering that a series would be staged at the same ground, a three-match series can be finished in about a week with reserve days because there’s no need for travelling.

Do all teams have the pool of players?

Choosing the squad for some teams could become very tricky. Considering a team like West Indies or Bangladesh even, it would be comparatively more difficult for them to prepare two squads as compared to India or Australia.

If a team can afford multiple squads, selection of squads would also be difficult. The teams would have to distribute their star players across two squads.

Most teams have a single head coach, in a simultaneous series situation, each squad will require a head coach and its respective supporting staff. This could result in shuffling of the supporting staff.

The scheduling would still be dictated by coronavirus, the venues should be at opposite ends of to each other to reduce any possibility of a washout.

The added pressure on the pitch of multiple matches in a smaller time period could result in deterioration of the pitch.

Will help finish the season

Simultaneous series seems to be the logical path ahead. The teams can announce their squads and it is understandable that scheduling of simultaneous series will take some time. There will be no spectators and Covid-19 will continue to play a deciding role.

It could surely bring things back and help finish the season as planned although, there are few obvious trade-offs of conducting simultaneous series as discussed above.

Let us know what you think about simultaneous series as a spectator and let’s discuss its impact from perspective of other stakeholders too.

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