IPL 2020 possible after monsoons, can live without spectators before normalcy: BCCI CEO Rahul Johri

WION Web Team New Delhi, India May 21, 2020, 01.53 PM(IST)

IPL Trophy Photograph:( PTI )

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The CEO of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), Rahul Johri has said that the board is planning to conduct the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2020 with Indian and overseas players after the monsoon.

The CEO of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), Rahul Johri has said that the board is planning to conduct the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2020 with Indian and overseas players after the monsoon. The plan depends majorly on the fate of ICC T20 World Cup, scheduled to be hosted by Australia from October 18 to November 15. A decision on the showpiece event is likely to be made when ICC’s board members meet on May 28.

Johri said that the flavour of IPL is best when the world comes and play in India while adding it will be a step-by-step process and things can’t get back to normalcy in a single day. Johri stated players’ decision to participate in IPL 2020 or not would be respected by everyone.

“IPL is one of the greatest engagers. More people watched the IPL last year than those who voted for general elections. For sponsors, cricket is a leader and it will lead the way. The recovery will be sharper than a V-shaped recovery,” said Johri at a webinar.

“The flavour of IPL is that best players in the world come and play, and everyone is committed to maintaining that flow. But it will be a step-by-step process. We can’t expect normalisation tomorrow,” he said. 

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Johri further said that cricketing activities in India can only be held after monsoons while adding they will be guided by the government guidelines as to when and how cricket can resume in the country. However, he accepted that scheduling IPL 2020 in October-November won’t be an easy task as a lot of factors like 14-day quarantine period, training regimes, the calendar will have to be kept in mind.

“We will be guided by government guidelines. Our advisory says: IPL is suspended till further notice. We are engaging with various agencies. After the current phase of lockdown ends, there is the monsoon. Cricketing activities can start only after the monsoon. By then, hopefully, things will improve.”

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“When flights resume, everyone has to quarantine themselves before playing. We will have to look at how that will impact the schedules, which as it is are tight. Imagine you have to factor in 14-day quarantine prior to practice also. So, there are a lot of moving parts. But we are still optimistic. Hopefully, the situation will improve after monsoon, and we will approach it then,” he said.

When asked about conducting the IPL behind closed doors, Johri said: “It will not just be in IPL but also international cricket. Although it (gate receipts) gives us a small percentage of our revenue, it is important because the bulk of that goes in the maintenance of stadiums. However, in the short term, before we get back to normal, we can live without (spectators) it.”