14 Apr

The Indian Premier League (IPL) 2020 has been postponed once again after Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced today that the lockdown in the country to battle the spread of the coronavirus is extended until May 3. There is no clarity at the moment surrounding the future of IPL 2020. The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has no answers and the IPL 2020 season remains in jeopardy.

“The league is not looking possible at this stage. How we can even discuss internally under such circumstances. We too are losing hope now”, said one of the member of the governing council of the Indian Premier League.

IPL 2020, which was scheduled to start on March 29, was initially suspended until tomorrow (April 15). The Indian government had announced an initial 21-day lockdown as the Covid-19 pandemic brought normal lives to a standstill across the globe. The April-May window in the cricket calendar has been earmarked for the cash-rich T20 tournament ever since its inception in 2008.

BCCI president Sourav Ganguly had earlier predicted the delay of the cash-rich league. “Practically speaking, when life has come to a standstill everywhere in the world, where does sport have a future in this,” Ganguly told the New Indian Express.
“We keep monitoring developments. At the present moment, we can’t say anything. And what is there to say anyway? Airports are shut, people are stuck at home, offices are locked down, nobody can go anywhere. And it seems this is how it’s going to be till the middle of May.”

Speculation was rife that the BCCI was eyeing the October-November window in which the T20 World Cup is scheduled to be held, however, BCCI treasurer Arun Dhumal rubbished all such speculations on Monday saying it’s “too premature” to comment on this.

“Everyone wants IPL to happen but let’s have some clarity first,” Dhumal told the Press Trust of India. “Tell me one thing. Firstly, if Australia is under lockdown for six months, how can we conclude that they will allow their players to travel from next month right away? What if the travel restrictions for its citizens are still in place. How will they come to India then? And don’t forget that other boards also need to agree.

“Even if we are in a position to conduct a tournament, for international players, we need to give them a bare minimum time to do full-fledged training before we can start a tournament. All these factors can only be clear when we are in a position to discuss.”

John Stephenson


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