The much-awaited Indian Premier League 2020 (IPL 2020) was originally intended to launch on March 29. However, the coronavirus-induced India lockdown forced the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to postpone the Indian T20 event until further notice. As the India lockdown continues to remain in effect, latest reports indicate that the IPL 2020 is likely to be staged between September and November later this year, should the T20 World Cup in Australia gets postponed to a later date by the International Cricket Council (ICC).
Even if the IPL 2020 takes place on a later date, it is highly likely that the T20 event will be conducted behind closed doors. While there has been no official announcement regarding the staging of IPL 2020 in September by the BCCI yet, Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Venky Mysore seems to have visualized his own version of the coronavirus-struck 2020 edition. In an interview with ESPNCricinfo, the KKR official stated that a closed-door IPL 2020 should be conducted with the help of technological use of recreating crowd noise in the stadiums.
He said that LED walls and high-resolution speakers should be applied in the stands during matches, through which IPL fans can have a virtual presence at the venue, by simply accessing their social media accounts at the convenience of their homes during India lockdown. The KKR CEO is of the opinion that fans will then be able to react and cheer for their favourite IPL teams in the same way they do while physically being present at stadiums. He added that in some regards, the model is applied is also applied in the United States during their football matches as well.
Mysore had stayed in the USA for many years before returning to India and becoming a part of Red Chillies Entertainment, the famous Bollywood production house, making his experience in sport crucial for KKR and the 'brand' IPL to move forward in the future to pave the way for innovation in cricket.
While the IPL 2020 was slated to commence on March 29, the KKR franchise were scheduled to launch their tournament campaign against the Royal Challengers Bangalore on March 31. Experienced Indian wicketkeeper-batsman Dinesh Karthik is set to reprise his leadership role for the franchise for the now-postponed season. During the IPL 2020 auction and trading window, KKR added nine new cricketers in their line-up, including Australian pacer Pat Cummins, who became the most expensive foreign player ever in IPL history.