The COVID-19 (coronavirus) categorised as a pandemic by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and positive cases on the rise in India, the Indian Premier League (IPL 2020) is in serious doubt of starting on the scheduled date of March 29. The IPL governing council will meet this Saturday to take stock of the situation, but with Maharashtra government stalling the sale of IPL tickets in the state and the ongoing Road Safety World Series to be played behind closed doors in DY Patil Stadium, it seems that the council may have to make some difficult decisions on organising the tournament in the wake of the pandemic. Also Read - Viral Video: Deer Runs Across Empty Street in Dehradun Amid Coronavirus Lockdown
With the Indian government suspending all tourist visas till April 15, the participation of foreign players too is in severe doubt. So, what can the BCCI and the IPL governing council do? Firstly, they can go ahead with the tournament and BCCI president Sourav Ganguly stating that all precautions will be taken in lieu of Coronavirus. However, things have changed rapidly with Coronavirus cases on the rise in the country, which now stands at 60. Also Read - Have to Resist Urge to go Out: Chesteshwar Pujara on Lockdown Amid COVID-19
The second approach will to postpone the IPL, then again there is no fixed timely for this. As per a report in the Times of India, the likelihood of IPL beginning on the scheduled date is getting lesser by the day. “A deferment is to be worked upon. If the situation worsens, the tournament may not happen at all.” Also Read - Viral: Police Dresses up as Coronavirus to Create Awareness in Chennai | Watch
The other options that BCCI and the IPL council have in front of them is the change of format to look at a shorter window and play less of home and away games.
“Changing of the format is possible – if we’re looking at a shorter window. Maybe less home and away games by dividing the teams into two pools. Matches can be brought down by 25 to 30%. Wait for March to get over,” said BCCI sources as quoted by the National Daily.