Published: April 10, 2020 6:38:48 pm
The big question in Indian cricket – whether the Indian Premier League (IPL) will be held this year – has drawn various reactions from players and former players already, but comments made by BCCI officials threw some light on the possible fate of IPL 2020 on Friday.
Former IPL chairman Rajeev Shukla told ANI, “I don’t see any preparation, our priority is to fight coronavirus and save people. See it will all depend on the government what decision they will take. We will go by the government decision. We are hearing that lockdown may extend in this situation if you think IPL can happen by April 15 it seems not possible.”
CNBC-TV18 quoted two unnamed BCCI officials as saying that the earliest the season can be held is in June and the latest window is the winter.
“The board is looking at an alternate window to host matches, possibly in July, or latest during winter,” one official said. “If the lockdown is extended, it would be difficult to have a full-fledged IPL in the current window till the beginning of June,” said another.
Even though some, like Kapil Dev, have said that no cricket should be played for the next five-six months, the cancellation of the IPL is set to have a huge financial impact – losses to the tune of an estimated Rs 3000 crore.
“The BCCI insurance doesn’t cover pandemic. It covers epidemic, terrorism and climate related stuff. Pandemic situation is unprecedented. We have insured players’ fees so that if they get injured, they can get money. Ticketing during play-offs and final is also insured,” a BCCI source told The Indian Express on Thursday.
Sourav Ganguly had hinted after a meeting with the IPL teams in March that the season will not be extended to make up for the delay. “It (a truncated IPL) will happen, because if it is April 15, then it in any case 15 days are gone, it has to be truncated. How truncated, how many games, I can’t say at the moment.”
What players have said
SunRisers Hyderabad pacer Sandeep Sharma told The Indian Express on Friday that the aim for any cricketer is to win matches for his team, irrespective of whether it is in front of crowds. “It does not matter if it’s being played in a stadium full of spectators or at an empty venue,” he said.
Australia cricketer Pat Cummins also said he is ‘super hopeful’ that the IPL will take place, even if it means fans can only watch on televisions. “When people ask about the difference between playing cricket in India, the first thing is the crowd,” he said.
“They scream every single ball whether it’s a six or a wicket – it’s the same noise every ball – so that atmosphere is something that we love about playing in India. It will be missed in the short term if it can’t happen, but I have no doubt it will be a great event even if it has to be played without crowds,” he added.
However, former cricketer Madan Lal said there is no point if fans cannot turn up to the stadiums. “There’s no point in playing IPL matches in front of empty stands. It’s not just about the players and the fans, it’s about other people who are also involved in the process while travelling, organising, broadcasting, etc,” Lal told IANS.
India off-spinner Harbhajan Singh recently said he won’t mind playing without spectators if the situation demands.
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