Crowded stadiums with fans cheering for their favourite teams is one of the biggest appeals of the Indian Premier League (IPL). Since it's inception in 2008, IPL has attracted crowds in huge numbers. But according to a recent development, the same won't be the case this year as there are apprehensions that the IPL might be played behind closed doors due to the Coronavirus outbreak.
There have been more than two dozen cases of Coronavirus detected in India in the past two weeks. Presently, the IPL will go on as scheduled with necessary precautions being taken. However, some key stakeholders in the IPL are requesting closed-door matches due to the outbreak.
According to a leading publication, the stakeholders want closed-door games without ticket sales to reduce the coronavirus risk. With IPL 2020 fast approaching, 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.
The 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 report further claimed that the concerns are mounting because of the colossal amounts of money at stake.
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.