The coronavirus crisis in the country is getting worse day by day and the situation doesn't look very promising. And with that, the probability of the Indian Premier League (IPL 2020) season taking place this year is diminishing. The COVID-19 cases are increasing rapidly in the country and under these circumstances, the BCCI has almost no chance to move ahead with the tournament. The precarious situation has led the BCCI to invoke the ‘Force Majeure’ clause with the official broadcasters of the tournament on the IPL 2020 media rights contract.
According to a report published by The Times of India, the BCCI has sent a letter to the official broadcasters regarding the ‘Force Majeure’ clause if the 13th edition of the tournament is delayed or suspended.
In all standard contractual agreements, the 'Force Majeure' clause is included with an aim to protect the parties in case they are unable to perform their obligations under a contract due to the occurrence of an event which is outside the reasonable control of the party and which prevents them to perform as per the terms of the contract.
Generally, the term ‘Force Majeure’ implies to natural disasters like earthquakes, floods etc. But here the BCCI has invoked the clause in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak. This makes it clear that with the passage of time, even the BCCI management is losing hope on going ahead with IPL 2020. That's why in order to protect themselves and comply with the contractual obligations, they have decided to invoke the said clause.
The report further quoting a BCCI source states that the said letter is merely a contractual obligation. The BCCI has not specified in its letter to the official broadcasters about the future of IPL 2020.
According to Inside Sport, the BCCI officials did not want to come on record to comment on the situation. They have further learnt that the same set of letters is being sent to other contractual parties and commercial sponsors by the BCCI in order to safeguard themselves. The BCCI will also invoke the ‘Force Majeure’ clause with sponsors including its title sponsor VIVO.