Former England captain Mike Atherton weighed in on the IPL debate and reckoned that if the BCCI decides to reschedule the cash rich league at a later stage in the year, it will be hard on the Indian players given their international commitments and their life inside the bubble for long periods.

“There is maybe a gap there, but all countries will already have their pre-T20 World Cup preparations baked in now — England are due to go to Bangladesh and Pakistan, for example — and you’re also asking India’s players, who have spent long, long periods inside these bubbles, and then asking them to spend more time in one, it seems hard to me,” Atherton told Sky Sports.

Keeping in mind that the IPL brings a considerable amount of revenue to global cricket, a lot of people would still want the league to go ahead but he can’t see when it can be rescheduled to given the tight international calender.

“I just don’t see where the gap (in the schedule) is. India come to England for five Test matches in the summer — and that ends around mid-September. Then the T20 World Cup, which is supposed to be in India – but who knows, they may have to move that tournament to the UAE — takes place in mid-October,” he said.

Atherton said that any argument for holding the IPL would have become unacceptable when Covid-19 cases started emerging within the bio-bubble.

“It became inevitable once the Covid cases got inside the franchises’ bubbles — three or four franchises had to go into quarantine or isolation — and, once that happened, the tournament became impossible really,” he said.

“Up until that point, they could make an argument that in a pretty horrendous time for India, the IPL was providing a bit of daily respite for people to watch in the evening. That argument held water, just about, but it didn’t once the bubbles were breached,” said Atherton.

(With IANS Inputs)