Amid the Coronavirus outbreak and associated measures to control its spread, sources on Monday have reported that the dates for the upcoming Indian Premier League (IPL) cannot be postponed or preponed, in which case, the disbanding the tournament for the season may be on the cards. Deliberations to this effect are ongoing among the various stakeholders, sources added.
Earlier as per reports, the stakeholders wanted closed-door games without ticket sales to reduce the Coronavirus risk. With IPL 2020 fast approaching - and set to begin at the end of the month - the health ministry has already pointed out its concerns to the sports ministry. A meeting is expected to take place between BCCI officials and the health ministry next week. Three review meetings are also likely to be held towards this.
This development comes after BCCI President Sourav Ganguly on Friday said that “everything is on schedule” for the IPL 2-2020 which starts on March 29. The commercial stakes are also likely to be kept in the forefront, given the popularity and significance of the money-spinning high-profile league.
Ticket sales for the IPL 2020 constitute ₹8-10 crore of the income of a team. This is a very small amount compared to the total revenue and, if needed, can be compensated by the BCCI. It is claimed that only 1% of cricket fans watch an IPL match in a stadium. The rest of them prefer to watch it on television or on OTT platforms. It would be interesting to see the results coming out of BCCI's meeting with the health ministry next week.
Meanwhile, the IPL 2020 will begin on March 29 with defending champions Mumbai Indians taking on arch-rivals Chennai Super Kings in the tournament opener at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai.