The much-awaited Indian Premier League 2020 (IPL 2020) which was slated to start from March 29 was postponed indefinitely due to the coronavirus pandemic that wreaked havoc in the world. The postponement of the marquee event left the fans sad. However, fans have a reason to cheer up now as the BCCI is keen on getting IPL 2020 underway in the September-November window according to recent reports.
The fate of IPL 2020 largely depends on the T20 World Cup in Australia which is scheduled from October 18 to November 15. Australia might postpone the tournament due to the coronavirus pandemic not subsiding in the country. The CEO of BCCI, Rahul Johri said that plans are on to hold IPL 2020 with Indian and international players after the monsoon.
While speaking at the TCM Sports Huddle webinar, Johri said that IPL is one of the greatest engagers in cricket. He added that for sponsors, cricket is a leader and it will lead the way. He also said that the recovery will be sharper than a V-shaped recovery.
Johri further said that the flavour of IPL is that the best players in the world come and play and everyone is committed to maintaining that flow. But it will be a step-by-step process. He added that they can’t expect things to get normalised instantly. However, he was clear that players’ decision to participate or not would be respected.
The BCCI CEO reckoned that they will be guided by the government guidelines and added that the advisory says that the IPL is suspended till further notice. He also revealed that they are engaging with various agencies. After the current phase of lockdown ends, there is the monsoon. Cricketing activities can start only after the monsoon. Johri further was hopeful of the situation improving after the rainy season.
He further said that when flights resume, everyone has to quarantine themselves before playing. He added that they will have to look at how that will impact the schedules, which as it is are tight. Johri accepted that scheduling IPL won’t be easy even in the October-November window. However, he was optimistic and hopeful that the situation will improve after the monsoon.
On being asked about holding IPL 2020 without spectators, Johri said that it will not just be in IPL but also international cricket. He added that although the tickets give them a small percentage of their revenue, it is important because a bulk of that goes in the maintenance of stadiums. However, he said that in the short term, cricket in India can live without spectators.