Former India captain Mohammed Azharuddin is expecting IPL to be part of a revamped Future Tours and Programmes (FTP) which currently has gone for a toss in wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

Not fitting in IPL will lead to huge losses not just for the BCCI but for the majority of cricket boards across the globe, reckons Azharuddin who is now the president of the Hyderabad Cricket Association (HCA).

He advises cricket boards to come together and rework the FTP keeping IPL in mind.

“I am sure they can have a restructured FTP for two years because of so much of uncertainty in prevailing circumstances. I mean you can always prepare for good times but you can’t prepare for bad times,” Azhar told PTI.

He continued, “Once things settle down, we can have a dialogue with other member nations. I think if they have to slot IPL, the whole itinerary needs to be changed. That’s one option or else stick to the current itinerary with whatever gone being gone.”

IPL was originally scheduled to start from March 29 and is currently suspended till April 15. With the chances of extending lockdown in India looking high, the future of the league this year is in limbo.

But Azhar opines that ignoring IPL will financially hurt everyone.

“But that means huge losses for all the stakeholders and is not practical. Therefore, I am expecting a complete overhaul of the FTP, if we have to fit in the IPL. I feel all the boards will agree as everybody is getting affected. But obviously the BCCI gets affected more,” he said.

Several foreign cricketers including the likes of Jos Buttler, Pat Cummins and Ben Stokes have expressed their desire to see IPL happening this year which only confirms the importance of the league to both the administrators and the players – domestic or overseas – alike.

“No one will say no to IPL. Not even the foreign players. So many people thrive on IPL,” he said. “For a lot of our domestic guys, who are not India regulars, let’s accept they look forward to the IPL.”

However, finding an appropriate window for cash-rich league will be a headache considering it will surely clash with international fixtures. One possibility is to hold a truncated version but it depends on how quickly the situation gets better.

Another possibility is pushing it to the latter half of 2020 but during that period, Australia is to host the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup and as per Azhar, the showpiece event won’t be cancelled.

“I don’t think World T20’s slot will be gone. It’s third week of October and if things are okay by then, I would believe World T20 will happen. This is purely my personal opinion as you can’t tinker with a World Cup. But obviously IPL will get accommodated in somewhere,” he said.

With the entire country in lockdown, cricketers cannot train outdoors which Azhar accepts must be frustrating for them. “Since they are not able to do any nets, that’s a problem. Once they come back, they would feel that lack of practice time. Pretty sure most players have their own fitness programmes. Once normalcy returns, it will probably take a week to get back the touch,” he said.