Participation of foreign players in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2020 is in severe doubt after the Indian government on Wednesday suspended all visas, except a few categories such as diplomatic and employment, till April 15 in a bid to contain the spread of novel coronavirus. Also Read - Coronavirus in Gujarat: 14-month-old Toddler Dies of COVID-19 in Jamnagar
The IPL 2020 is scheduled to begin on Match 29, which day by day seems unlikely. The IPL governing council is set to meet this Saturday to take stock of the situation. Also Read - New York Leads Coronavirus Death Toll With 731 Fatalties in 24 Hours
“Please give us two days. It’s not possible to give you concrete details at the moment,” a senior Board office bearer told PTI on Wednesday. India has reported 60 positive cases in the outbreak which has led to over 4,000 deaths globally. Also Read - Rishabh Pant is Just 20 And Media Scrutinises Him so Much: Rohit Sharma to Yuvraj Singh During Instagram Chat Amid COVID-19 Lockdown
Having the IPL, starting March 29, played in empty stadiums is an option but a decision will only be taken at the league’s Governing Council meeting in Mumbai on March 14. The BCCI seems jittery about the 60-odd foreign cricketers, who travel to India for the IPL. The Board said it is not yet clear on whether visas to these players also stand cancelled.
The pressure has increased manifold after the Legends T20 meet games in Pune, featuring the likes of Sachin Tendulkar and Brian Lara were cancelled. The fate of the PIL is set to be heard in Madras High Court on Thursday. And amid a possibility that the Maharashtra government might bar IPL games in the state, the only feasible solution is having matches inside empty stadiums. This will save the broadcasters from losing advertisement money as matches are insured which means both the BCCI and franchisees will recover bulk of their investment.