As the uncertainty over the future of IPL continues, an official has revealed that the league might get cancelled altogether this year if it misses the April 20 deadline. The tournament sees huge crowds gather match-after-match for 60 days, either in stadiums or fan parks. An advisory released on Friday afternoon that quoted BCCI Secretary Jay Shah stated that the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has decided to suspend IPL 2020 till 15th April 2020 as a precautionary measure against the ongoing Novel Corona Virus (COVID-19) situation.
Addressing the same, an IPL official spoke a news daily and apprised that the six-week window from April 21 till May 31 is sufficient to host 60 matches and added that the final decision will be made around April 10.
The official further added that the extent of the virus infection will be taken into account while making the final decision.
In an earlier development, BCCI sources had confirmed that no foreign player will be available for the upcoming IPL till April 15 due to the visa restrictions imposed by the government in wake of COVID-19 outbreak. Speaking regarding the same, the IPL official said that the authorities informally consulted the franchisees and some of the big teams were hesitant to start the IPL as per schedule without any overseas participation.
Addressing the issue of visa restrictions for foreign players, the official mentioned that most teams have foreigners in its coaching staff and since the visa issue is unresolved, the teams were not so keen on starting the tournament without coaches.
The Indian Premier League (IPL) has been pushed back to April 15, 2020 due to the outbreak of coronavirus. The decision was taken on Friday afternoon by the BCCI.
🚨Announcement🚨: #VIVOIPL suspended till 15th April 2020 as a precautionary measure against the ongoing Novel Corona Virus (COVID-19) situation.— IndianPremierLeague (@IPL) March 13, 2020
More details ➡️ https://t.co/hR0R2HTgGg pic.twitter.com/azpqMPYtoL
The BCCI is concerned and sensitive about all its stakeholders, and public health in general, and it is taking all necessary steps to ensure that, all people related to IPL including fans have a safe cricketing experience. The BCCI will work closely with the Government of India along with the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and all other relevant Central and State Government departments in this regard."
However, IPL doesn't happen to be the only sporting event that is facing issues. Globally, sporting events such as the English Premier League clash between Manchester City and Arsenal, and the Indian Wells tennis tournament have been canceled due to fears of the disease spreading. Even bigger than that, the NBA season has been suspended.