Amid the COVID-19 crisis clouds of doubt hover over the 13th season of the Indian Premier League (IPL). There have been plenty of speculations about whether the IPL will be played in the Indian subcontinent or abroad. Some reports also claimed that the matches will be played behind closed doors in order to adhere to the social distancing rules.
For IPL franchises, the questions are many, desperate for a decisive statement from the BCCI on the league’s fate which, they believe, will receive unprecedented television viewership if it does happen. With Cricket Australia repeatedly stressing the “unrealistic” challenge of hosting the 16-team T20 World Cup in October-November, the possibility of having the IPL has significantly increased.
In a recent interview, King XI Punjab co-owner Ness Wadia said, “Considering the current situation, there are too many complications in hosting the T20 World Cup with 16 teams. Organising the IPL won’t be easy too. It has to be at a place that has adequate infrastructure, both on and off the field.”
The International Cricket Council recently pushed its final decision on the T20 World Cup to the next month but BCCI has already zeroed it down on the September-October window for the IPL tournament.
Recently, BCCI had stated that they are looking for all the possibilities of hosting the tournament and mostly they want it to be a TV-only affair.
Wadia further stated, “I am sure BCCI is putting all its efforts towards a full IPL but we have no issues even with a curtailed one. We have to be aware of the situation we are in and optimise ourselves.”
For the unversed, the 2009 IPL was hosted in South Africa while the 2014 IPL matches were partially played in UAE. With COVID-19 cases rising in India, there is a possibility of BCCI hosting the tournament overseas. Sri Lanka had previously shown interest in hosting the money-spinning league but there have been no more updates about the same.