With the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) issuing a set of fresh guidelines to be followed during the fourth phase of nationwide lockdown, permission has been granted for the reopening of sports complexes and stadiums. Also Read - Coronavirus Cases in India Cross 1.9 Lakh-mark; Delhi Seals Border With UP, Haryana For 1 Week | Key Developments
Spectators will still not be permitted at these venues once practice resumes but will sports events including the big-ticket IPL be held in the near future? Also Read - Imran Khan Says it Was 'Mistake' to Enforce Strict Lockdown Even as COVID-19 Cases Cross 72,000-mark
The answer is no as the government has still included sports events in the list of prohibited activities and with the restrictions of air travel and movement continuing, the logistics anyway won’t allow for the organisation of such large-scale tournaments. Also Read - Coronavirus in Maharashtra: 2361 Cases, 76 Deaths in 24 Hours; Total Tally Crosses 70,000-mark
Even BCCI treasurer Arun Dhumal has ruled out any possibility of IPL happening in the coming few months.
“The IPL at the moment is not possible because travel restrictions are still there,” Dhumal told The Indian Express. “So, how can you have the IPL without any travel happening? We are studying these guidelines and will study state governments’ guidelines also. Accordingly, we will plan.”
However, BCCI will allow cricketers to resume outdoor training at their local stadiums. “At a local level, cricketers can go to stadiums and resume outdoor training. But the entire team cannot get together because players are scattered.,” Dhumal said.
There are reports of BCCI exploring a window in the latter half of the year to organise IPL which if cancelled could result in loss amounting to Rs 4,000 crore.
With uncertainty hovering over the fate of Men’s T20 World Cup in Australia too and should it be postponed, it could open up an opportunity for the IPL to be held.
However, the English daily quoted another BCCI functionary as saying that T20 World Cup is a global tournament and ICC will do its level best to organise it as per the original schedule.
“The T20 World Cup is an ICC event. It will generate revenue for the global body, and the ICC will do its level best to organise the tournament as per schedule,” the functionary was quoted as saying.