The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic might see the cancellation of IPL 2020. It is learnt that while the franchises are bracing up for the worst, top BCCI officials too don’t appear to be very optimistic. On Tuesday, the IPL franchises were to have a teleconference to discuss the future course of action. But that is unlikely to happen now, it is learnt.
“Given the present situation, I feel the IPL this year might not happen. That’s what it looks like,” a franchise official told The Indian Express.
A total cancellation will see the BCCI lose in excess of Rs 2,000 crore in revenue, while each franchise will lose more than Rs 100 crore. And compensation is not an option.
“Franchises can’t get any compensation. (In case of a cancellation) money is not going to anybody. So compensation is out of question,” the official said.
A franchise CEO agreed, mentioning that there couldn’t be any contingency plan in case of a cancellation.
Meanwhile, the BCCI is not even thinking about the IPL at the moment. “Nobody has the clarity about the future. We don’t know when travel restrictions/visa restrictions (until April 15 as of now) will go, when things will settle down. Till then, there’s no point (thinking about the IPL),” a top BCCI official told this newspaper.
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“And even if it settles down here but continues in some other country… we are not clear about that also. Japan, the host nation of the Olympics, is talking about a possible postponement. This (the outbreak) is far bigger than any sport or the IPL,” he added.
Even for a truncated IPL, the tournament has to start by April end or early May, for it can’t be stretched beyond the first week of June. In 2009, when the IPL was held in South Africa, 59 matches had been played inside 37 days.
Unlike, the Premier League, for example, the IPL doesn’t have the option to wait indefinitely. The Premier League is considering a June restart of the season, but the Indian T20 league can’t go beyond the first week of June, for there’s no other window.
READ | IPL’s problem of numbers
The BCCI official didn’t sound very confident about holding the IPL in September at the expense of the Asia Cup.
Even if the BCCI lobbies for it, given that the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) will be hosting this year’s Asia Cup, putting it on hold might not work, given the thorny relationship between the two boards.
“At the moment, you can’t start thinking about anything. This (the problem) has to end and only then you can go back to the drawing board,” the BCCI official said.
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