The 13th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL), which was initially scheduled to start from March 29, got postponed to April 15 due to the coronavirus pandemic. However, the situation failed to improve in time, which is why the cash-rich league was further postponed indefinitely. Now, there is a cloud of uncertainty looming over the fate of IPL 2020. There are even reports that the IPL 2020 might be called off this year.
Several options are being considered by to stage the marque event this year. One of them is going ahead with the competition without overseas players. Rajasthan Royals had seconded the idea but at the same time Chennai Super Kings (CSK) have dismissed the idea of playing without foreign players.
A CSK official told PTI that IPL without overseas players will be like playing another Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy. The official added that CSK have not been in touch with the BCCI of late as the situation is worsening. He hoped for the IPL to be played later this year.
The Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy is India's premier domestic T20 competition which is played annually months before the IPL to determine the best Indian talent in the shortest format of the game across states. Karnataka are the reigning champions of the competition by the virtue of their win in the 2019-20 season, beating Tamil Nadu in the final.
A few months ago, a BCCI official had echoed this CSK spokesperson's sentiments by calling the IPL a Syed Mushtaq Trophy if only Indians played in it. This irked former India captain Sunil Gavaskar, who asked the official to show some respect to the domestic competition as it was a tribute to the late Syed Mushtaq Ali, the Indian batsman who was renowned to be the first from the country to encourage aggressive batting successfully.
While speaking to AFP, BCCI Treasurer Arun Dhumal stated that the board will take a huge financial hit if the IPL 2020 is cancelled. He said that in case the IPL 2020 does not take place, the BCCI would lose close to ₹4000 crore (USD $530 million) if not more. He admitted his doubts about the staging of the tournament this year and stated that BCCI will come up with an exact revenue loss amount once they are sure about the number of matches they have lost.