Coronavirus: India coach Shastri says bilateral cricket and IPL should take priority

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Ravi Shastri believes bilateral action and the Indian Premier League (IPL) should take priority over global competitions when the green light is given for cricket to resume.

The coronavirus crisis has ground the vast majority of sport to a halt worldwide, with many events cancelled or suspended.

It was not possible to get the IPL under way at the end of March due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but organisers are still hopeful of rescheduling the extravaganza for later in the year.

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There are also doubts over whether the ICC Men's T20 World Cup in Australia, scheduled for October and November, will go ahead.

India head coach Shastri thinks it is too early to be thinking about staging major international tournaments.

He told the Times of India: "I wouldn't put too much emphasis on world events right now.

"Stay at home, ensure domestic cricket comes back to normal, cricketers at all levels - international, first-class, et cetera - all get back on the field. That's the most important bit. Second: Start with bilateral cricket.

"If we had to choose between hosting a World Cup and a bilateral tour, obviously, we'd settle for the bilateral.

"Instead of 15 teams flying in, we'd settle for one team flying in and playing an entire bilateral series at one or two grounds.

"When cricket resumes, we could give the IPL a priority. The difference between an international tournament and the IPL is that the IPL can be played between one or two cities and the logistics will be easier to manage.

"The same thing with bilaterals - it'll be easier for us to tour one country and play there at specific grounds than 15-16 teams flying in during these times. The International Cricket Council needs to look at this objectively."

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