With the global pandemic presenting unique challenges to the teams ahead of the 2020 Indian T20 League season, one of the ideas being considered to alleviate some of the issues, at least by Bangalore, is a mid-season loan transfer like is the norm in football.
"We are certainly open to it," said team director Mike Hesson during a virtual media conference. "We've got a small squad and we've done that for a reason. If something was to occur, we'd certainly look at that.
With strict protocols in place including quarantine and travel restrictions, getting last-minute replacements will pose a significant challenge, particularly for Bangalore, who have the smallest travelling contingent among all the teams, at just 21 players.
Hesson, however, stressed the need for both teams to buy into any potential loan, "You need to make sure the other side is happy with the loan and think they'll get benefit from it later on in the tournament as well. So it's not a matter of identifying someone you want, they also have to be allowed to be released as well."
In 2019, in a move that was endorsed by Rohit Sharma and Mahela Jayawardene, captain and head coach respectively of the Mumbai, the Indian T20 League had allowed for a five-day window during which uncapped players could be loaned mid-season provided the players did not feature in over two games.
For this season, the Indian T20 League will allow loaning of capped players - Indian or overseas - between teams at the mid-way point of the tournament.
The move has been welcomed by Hesson, who said, "It will come in at some stage due to the fact that it's hard to get potential replacements. We are very comfortable with the squad we have, but if we get injuries or so forth, then loan opportunities could become an option."
While the Indian T20 League will be privy to any transfers of this kind, the arrangements will be strictly between the teams and also, won't be funded by money from the auction purse, with the player's fixed auction price to be used in an effort to prevent profiteering from such transfers.
Feature image courtesy: AFP / Dibyangshu Sarkar