With the lockdown restrictions lifting in most of the cities, one question remains in every cricket fan’s mind, When Indian Premier League (IPL) may start or is it even possible to organize such a massive event amid coronavirus pandemic.?
The 13th season of Vivo IPL was scheduled to start from March 29 however, the widespread of Covid19, pushed BCCI to postpone it to April 15 which also became impossible amid the extension of nationwide lockdown situation and further has been indefinitely postponed.
The Secretary of BCCI Jai Shah said in a press release on Thursday,
“Due to the evolving global health concerns regarding COVID-19 and lockdown measures implemented by the Government of India to contain the spread of the pandemic, the IPL Governing Council of the BCCI has decided that the IPL 2020 Season will be suspended till further notice,”
This certainly shades a doubt in everyone’s mind on the start of IPL. However, in another statement, BCCI chief executive says cricketing activities can start “in earnest” only after the monsoon and he remains “optimistic” about the IPL happening this year.
There are a lot of moving parts. Having said that we stay optimistic. Hopefully, the situation posts the monsoon will improve and we approach it that point of time,” Johri further added.
There is speculation that IPL might be conducted in October-November if the T20 World Cup in Australia is postponed.
What options BCCI have.?
As former English International Kevin Pietersen suggested, the tournament could be shortened from its original eight-week duration.
BCCI having great influence and control over ICC can postpone Men’s T20 World Cup which is scheduled to be held in Australia in October and organize a shorter version of IPL in October.
The matches could be played behind closed doors, the viewers still enjoy the matches streaming live on TV.
The total number of matches can be reduced to half with each team playing just one match with other teams.
The matches can be played on a neutral venue to eliminate home advantage for any team.
The newly appointed BBCI president Sourav Ganguly, who was supposed to lead his first season of IPL after his appointment in October last year recently spoke to a newspaper and quoted,
“Practically speaking, when life has come to a standstill everywhere in the world, where does sport have a future in this. 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,”