The start of the Indian Premier League had been already pushed back to April 15 from March 29. With a recent meeting among the Board and other officials also being called off due to the pandemic. Everyone from around the world had been waiting madly for this tournament to start.
The mega auction was successfully completed on the 19 December 2019, and Pat Cummins(Australian Fast-Bowler) came out to be the most expensive player to be sold for INR 15.50Cr. to the Kolkata Knight Riders. The league was all set to launch on the 29 March 2020 with an amazing clash between the winners and the runner’s up of the previous years’ Mumbai Indians & Chennai Super Kings respectively. What an amazing kick start to the tournament it would have been?
But who knew that we would witness this deadly epidemic which is continuously taking away so many lives. Being affected worldwide. India is under lockdown till 14 April 2020. With an increase in the number of infected people does not seem to be slowing down for now. Personally, I believe the lockdown will increase, even if India reopens after 14th, it is very difficult for the IPL to start anytime soon. The big question is how difficult it will be to find a place for the IPL in such a busy calendar, many more big questions come into the picture.
Availability Of Foreign Players In the IPL 2020
During mid-March, the Aussi opener David Warner had applied for a Visa to India in order to play for the IPL, but it was rejected due to the ongoing conditions at that time. Due to which many people thought that David Warner would not be playing the IPL(which is definitely not true).
Similarly, now the biggest question is about the availability of foreign players. Franchisee teams want foreign players in the IPL because without them all the charm of the tournament will be lost. The foreign players add great competition and wonderful taste to the tournament. Without them, the whole tournament would be a bit faded.
Affecting The Purse of Players & The Board
With the COVID-19 pandemic bringing sports – and the world in general – to a standstill, the finances of sports federations, associations and boards are being hugely affected. While some overseas cricket boards are considering pay cuts, some franchises are worried about the sponsorship models.
While there have been a few changes, most claim they are still on board with a majority of their sponsors. But industry experts believe sponsors could plug on their association with the IPL during such a crisis.
“The IPL is part of the entertainment economy of this country and the celebratory economy today is dead with the COVID-19. It not only kills people but also the celebratory economy today of the country. Having done that, the IPL is definitely impacted,” said Harish Bijoor, a seasoned brand thinker who has been following IPL trends since its inception in 2008.
Next Meeting Date of BCCI with The IPL Franchises
Speaking to IANS, an official of one of the franchises said that it doesn’t make any sense to have meetings when the future is uncertain, adding that there will be clarity once the current lockdown ends and a fresh advisory is issued.
“We last met the BCCI officials at the HQ and after that, the next meeting was called off. Due to the situation. Now that our 21-day lockdown comes to an end on April 14, we will get clarity on how things stand and if we will need any further steps in that direction to fight Covid-19. Once all of that is clear, we can all sit down and chalk out the road ahead. The owners will meet only after the fresh advisory comes,” the official said. IPL franchises have decided that they will have the next meeting only after the government comes up with a fresh advisory on April 14.
No Mega-Auction This Year?
The report also suggested there will be no mega auction this year. Obviously, if the IPL is canceled then The IPL edition 13 will have to be pushed to 2021?
“IPL will not happen this year. It will now happen next year. We all know how the situation is at the moment in the country and no one will take any risk,” a BCCI source was quoted as saying by Indian Express. “One can’t have social distancing in the stadium. It’s better to play IPL next year. Also, no mega auction will take place. We will inform the franchises once we get final confirmation from the Indian government, the same season can continue next season,” he added.
The entire sporting calendar of the world has been shredded due to the outbreak of coronavirus, in a year where several multi-national sporting events were scheduled to take place. IPL is set to join a long list of an event which has been postponed till next year. Olympics 2020 and Euro 2020 are two of the biggest tournaments that have been pushed to 2021 due to the Covid-19 threat.
What Do The Players Say for the IPL 2020?
“Still looking forward, fingers crossed. At some stage, if things settle down, it should happen,” Rohit told Kevin Pietersen on Instagram live.
Rohit Sharma feels the Indian Premier League can wait for the time being as the country is going through tough times due to coronavirus pandemic. “We should first think about the country. The situation needs to get better first then we can talk about the IPL. Let life get back to normal first,” Rohit said after Chahal asked him about the IPL.
Rajasthan Royals CEO Ranjit Barthakur says, even a shortened IPL with just Indian players would be good enough. In these “extraordinary times”, revealing that a final call on the glitzy event’s fate is unlikely to be taken before 15 April 2020. The top executive spelt out his franchise’s wish even as the number of positive cases and the death toll due to the pandemic continued to rise across the world.
“We are open to a short ended tournament with only Indian players. At the end of the day it is the Indian Premier League”, Bathakur said.
IPL 2020 Still Alive?
Yes, it is alive! If reports are to be believed. Then everyone is thinking that the entire tournament is all set to be canceled this year. But that is not true. There is still a little bit of hope coming from the pocket of ICC.
“So, if the ICC does go ahead and decides to postpone the T20 World Cup due to the current scenario. Only then we can look at the October-November window because even if a six-month border closedown is ordered by every country from, say, now, it ends by the start of October.
But again, for that, the spread of the coronavirus needs to be stopped and things must come under human control. In short, there will have to be a lot of maths,” the official said.”Again, it would be the last step for the ICC to push the T20 World Cup from 2020 to 2022. As there is no window in 2021.
So, at the moment, it is all a bit too far-fetched, to be honest. But yes, the October-November window has been spoken about for the IPL. A lot of external factors need to fall into place for that to become a reality.
When contacted, an ICC official made it clear that the T20 World Cup is still on as planned. There have been no talks of a postponement. The World T20 is to be held in October and November this year, the official said. Let us hope that the ICC postpones the World T20 so then we may witness the IPL 13, this year(2020) itself.