The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) made a huge decision on Friday when they announced that the launch date of the upcoming season of Indian Premier League (IPL 2020) has been postponed to April 15. The cash-rich league was initially scheduled to commence on March 29 with defending champions Mumbai Indians taking on last year's runners-up Chennai Super Kings at the Wankhede Stadium. The BCCI’s decision comes on the backdrop of the ongoing countrywide panic created by the highly-contagious Coronavirus.
A meeting was conducted on March 14 between the IPL 2020 governing council and the representatives of eight franchises. In the meeting, the franchises were given five potential dates for the commencement of IPL. The five dates are April 15, April 21, April 25, May 1 and May 5.
IPL 2020 is a massive tournament which goes on for almost two months. Even if double-headers are played, it still takes time for the tournament to get completed. The governing body made it clear that with IPL being a long tournament, it has to begin on or before April 25, beyond which accommodating all games would be a problem.
However, there is one way to reduce the number of matches played. In the IPL, teams play each other twice. One at home and one away. If this concept is reduced to them playing each other once, then the duration of the whole tournament can be reduced.
An official, while speaking to a leading media network, said that in the past when the IPL was moved to South Africa in 2009, it was conducted over a span of 37 days. So if IPL 2020 gets started by April 25 and runs till May end, it can be pulled off. But if it’s beyond that, it’s hard to plan the IPL 2020 schedule. He added that one option is avoiding the home-away concept and playing each other only once. Other is to have two groups. But the option of splitting it into two groups hasn’t found any takers as some marquee clashes will go missing from the calendar.