IPL Trophy Photograph:( PTI )
With all major tournaments and sporting events getting cancelled or postponed due to COVID-19 pandemic, the pressure is mounting on the BCCI to take a final call on the future of IPL 2020.
After the 2020 Tokyo Olympics was postponed by a year, all eyes have shifted to the much-awaited Indian Premier League (IPL) 2020. The onus lies on the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to deal with the situation surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic and take a final call on the cash-rich tournament which was earlier scheduled to start from March 29 but was suspended until April 15 due to the novel coronavirus outbreak.
However, the IPL franchises and stakeholders aren’t even discussing the IPL 2020 amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We are not even discussing IPL right now. It will be premature to say anything but hosting the IPL this year looks a bit difficult,” a top franchise official told a leading daily.
While the BCCI president Sourav Ganguly looked pessimistic about conducting IPL 2020 later in the year due to the FTP being in place. A Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA) official has now said that all IPL related work was stopped in mid-march as the employees were forced to go on a work-from-home routine due to the COVID-19 outbreak in the country.
“All IPL related work was stopped in mid-March. Only the construction of VIP boxes was underway when this coronavirus pandemic forced us to go on a work-from-home. We were already told not to hold IPL-related work till April 15,” said a Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA) official privy to the development.
Deputy Chief Minister of Delhi, Manish Sisodia was the first to announce a ban on IPL and that meant all IPL-related work at the Arun Jaitley Stadium – home ground of Delhi Capitals – including pitch preparation was halted mid-way.
“The IMGR (Delhi Capitals) guys came here last week and they were told about the developments. Even they looked less hopeful of the IPL taking place this year. Generally, it takes about two weeks for the pitch and construction work to complete before every IPL that means till the end of April it is highly unlikely,” the official added.
Earlier, Ganguly had said that he doesn’t have an answer to whether IPL 2020 will take place at all while citing the Future Tours Programme (FTP).
“Nothing has changed in the last 10 days. So, I don’t have an answer to it. You can’t plan anything. The FTP is scheduled. It’s there and you can’t change the FTP. All around the world, cricket and more so sports has stopped,” Ganguly had told PTI.
However, with all major tournaments and sporting events getting cancelled or postponed, the pressure is mounting on the BCCI to take a final call on the future of IPL 2020.