The IPL stakeholders are mulling to shift the T20 league to the second half of 2020 with the possibility of holding it in April or even May diminishing by the day amid coronavirus pandemic. India, like several other countries across the globe, is fighting the contain the spread of the deadly virus, imposing complete lockdown that runs till April 15. Also Read - COVID-19: Maharashtra Records 105 Deaths, 2190 Cases in Last 24 Hours, Total Tally at 56948
The IPL 2020 was originally scheduled to start from March 29 before being suspended till April 15 as the coronavirus began spreading at an alarming rate across the globe. Also Read - On Call, PM Modi Discusses Economic Impact of Coronavirus With Sri Lankan PM Mahinda Rajapaksa
According to various reports, the BCCI is set to have a busy few weeks as it chalks a fresh plan to accommodate IPL among its various international commitments in the latter half of the year. Also Read - We Will Not Learn! French NGO Collects Masks-Gloves And Other Medical Waste in Mediterranean Sea-Bed Amid COVID-19
The organisers are now looking at September-November window to squeeze in IPL even if it’s a curtailed season sans foreign players.
“Either way, one thing remains clear: The IPL takes precedence whenever the markets open. That’s not because the BCCI will force it. That’s because the IPL remains the elephant in the room,” The Times of India quoted sources in the know of developments as saying.
Overseas cricketers are a big draw in IPL and without their presence, there were fears the tournament might lose its charm. However, IPL officials are hoping that the presence of top India stars will be enough to draw audiences.
“The comparisons to Syed Mushtaq Ali trophy will not hold if this IPL is all Indian affair. The SMA trophy has all state teams. This will be eight teams plus we will have all top Indian players from Virat Kohli to MS Dhoni playing. There will be an audience for it, believes the broadcaster,” The Week quoted an IPL official as saying.
The window has become a realistic option since the Asia Cup (scheduled to be held in September) is likely to be scrapped and there are reports emerging of even the T20 World Cup in Australia being delayed.
However, nothing is finalised as of yet with BCCI still not committing anything officially.