BCCI defers decision on IPL 2020

No meeting was held on Monday to discuss IPL's future. A decision on further postponement likely after clarity from the government on the lockdown.

The 13th edition of IPL was originally scheduled to begin on March 29.   -  K.V.S. Giri

At a time when the country braces for an extended lockdown, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is yet to take a call on the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2020.

While the BCCI president Sourav Ganguly had earlier indicated that a decision could be likely on Monday after a ‘discussion with the office bearers’, Sportstar understands that no meeting was held on Monday.

Board’s joint secretary, Jayesh George, too, confirmed to this publication that there was no conference call to discuss the future of the tournament. It is believed that they are likely to take a final call on the postponement after Prime Minister’s address to the nation on Tuesday.

“At a time when the country has come to a standstill, there is no clarity. So, the franchises were also apprised of the situation,” one of the officials said.

While the Board is exploring ‘various options’ in a bid to find out an alternate window later this year to host the tournament, there is no clarity on the feasibility of such a proposal. “We have no idea when things will come back to normal again. So, it is too early to predict when will we have the IPL this year. The Board has told us that it’s looking into all the options and would let us know in due course of time,” one of the franchise owners told this publication.

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There are efforts to find a slot around September-October, just before the T20 World Cup. But with no clarity on travel guidelines and availability of players, even that looks like a doubtful option. “Whether we will have an IPL or not depends on how the next couple of months pan out. At this point of time, it is premature and also insensitive to talk about a possible date. We will have to wait and watch,” one of the franchise executives said.

Speaking to PTI, Board’s treasurer Arun Dhumal stated: “Right now, the picture is very hazy. We don’t even know when the lockdown will end and if we don’t know, how can we even have a meaningful discussion. Once we get a clarity from the government, we can then sit and take fresh stock of the situation. Any speculation about its future will be premature.”

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If the IPL is eventually cancelled, there could be a possible loss of Rs 3000 crore. While that is a major concern, the Board officials, franchises and the host broadcaster hope to reach a ‘common point’ over the next few months to decide on its future.

Despite repeated attempts, Ganguly wasn’t available for a comment at the time of publishing this story.