The Coronavirus pandemic has halted the sporting activities around the world. The 2020 edition of the Indian Premier League was also suspended because of the pandemic. It was initially scheduled to start from March 29, however, due to the Coronavirus pandemic, the BCCI decided to suspend the league until April 15.
Later, as the nationwide lockdown extended in India, BCCI had suspended until April 15. Now as the situation is worsening in the country, it seemed that the IPL 2020 will be canceled this year. It was during last month when a report suggested that the BCCI is looking forward to conducting the 2020 edition of IPL into the July window.
Now, BCCI CEO Rahul Johri has hinted towards conducting a full-fledged edition of IPL 2020 with all the international cricketers taking part in the league. This news could be a delight for the Indian cricket fans, who are desperately looking forward for the league, if the news turns into a reality. Rahul Johri said that the IPL 2020 is possible after monsoons. He said:
“IPL is one of the greatest engagers. More people watched the IPL last year than those who voted for general elections. For sponsors, cricket is a leader and it will lead the way. The recovery will be sharper than a V-shaped recovery,”
However, Rahul said that the choice of players participating in the league or not, will be respected. He said:
“The flavour of IPL is that best players of the world come and play, and everyone is committed to maintaining that flow. But it will be a step-by-step process. We can’t expect normalisation tomorrow,”
“We will be guided by the government guidelines. Our advisory says: IPL is suspended till further notice. We are engaging with various agencies. After the current phase of lockdown ends, there is the monsoon. Cricketing activities can start only after monsoon. By then, hopefully things will improve,”
Rahul Jofri said that scheduling the IPL even in October-November, won’t be possible. He said:
“When flights resume, everyone has to quarantine themselves before playing. We will have to look at how that will impact the schedules, which as it is are tight. Imagine you have to factor in 14-day quarantine prior to practice also. So, there are a lot of moving parts. But we are still optimistic. Hopefully, the situation will improve after monsoon, and we will approach it then,”
“It will not just be in IPL but also international cricket. Although it (gate receipts) gives us small percentage of our revenue, it is important because bulk of that goes in maintenance of stadiums. However, in the short term, before we get back to normal, we can live without (spectators) it.”