In wake of the worldwide panic caused by the coronavirus, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) recently delayed the launch of the Indian Premier League (IPL 2020) season. The tournament, initially slated to commence on March 29, is now set with a new launch date of April 15. However, the impact of coronavirus is likely to last longer than predicted and fans can expect further delays in the tournament.
While the Indian government reportedly urged BCCI to cancel the event, certain board officials recently made their intentions clear by stating they want to organise the tournament. Some of the options considered for staging the event included delaying the IPL 2020 further or organising matches behind closed doors. According to a media report, BCCI wants to host the IPL 2020 at a date when all foreign players and support staff members can travel to India at the convenience of all stakeholders.
Regarding the situation, a top BCCI official reportedly claimed it is their duty to ensure the quality of IPL 2020 is 'not poor' by not making it a ‘Syed Mushtaq Ali’ type of tournament. Syed Mushtaq Ali is an Indian annual domestic T20 competition which is played without the involvement of foreign players. The tournament is named after a veteran of Indian cricket, the late Syed Mushtaq Ali.
The official’s statement did not seem to have sat well with former Indian captain and batting legend Sunil Gavaskar. While writing for a leading publication, Sunil Gavaskar stated that such a statement is an insult after the person whom the tournament is named after. He also questioned the use of the word “poor” by further asking if it indeed is a case, “Why have it at all?”. Sunil Gavaskar further described the statement as an insensitive one on the part of the unnamed BCCI official.