IPL set to be ‘indefinitely postponed’

A view of the IPL trophy. File   | Photo Credit: K.V.S. Giri

The writing has been on the wall ever since the nation-wide lockdown was imposed in the wake of COVID-19

 outbreak and on Monday, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is set to “indefinitely postpone” the Indian Premier League’s (IPL) 13th edition.

Interactive map of confirmed coronavirus cases in India

This season’s tournament was scheduled to commence on March 29 but sensing the outbreak was going to disturb life in general, the BCCI on March 13 had suspended the event till April 15. With the pandemic far from being under control, the lockdown is set to be extended at least till April-end.

Restricted movement

With the restrictions on public gathering and air travel unlikely to be lifted before the arrival of monsoon in June (IPL’s final was scheduled for May 24), the BCCI authorities have been left with no choice but to defer the mega-event.

“Life is virtually at a standstill, let alone sport in general or cricket in particular. So there is no other option but to postpone the IPL,” a BCCI insider revealed to The Hindu. “It’s too early to predict as to when the IPL can be staged this year. We have to wait and watch, but at the moment we will have to defer it indefinitely.”

The decision is set to be taken on Monday during a conference call between the BCCI office-bearers — president Sourav Ganguly, vice-president Mahim Verma, secretary Jay Shah, treasurer Arun Dhumal and joint-secretary Jayesh George — and the IPL governing council chairman Brijesh Patel. After the meeting, the BCCI is likely to communicate the deferment to the eight franchises.

Expected development

The franchises, along with the host broadcaster, have been expecting this development for a while. Despite the huge financial ramifications involved in case the IPL cannot be held this year, neither the broadcaster nor the franchises are in a position to discuss it with the BCCI until the pandemic is under control.

The possibility of staging the IPL can be determined only after some normalcy returns and a new cricket calendar is chalked out.

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Printable version | Mar 1, 2021 6:54:50 AM |

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