As the country braces for another couple of weeks of lockdown, the 13th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) is set to be put on hold for now. Though, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is yet to make an official announcement, Sportstar understands that the Board officials have had informal conversations with the franchises, and have apprised them about the situation. However, a final decision is expected on Monday when the Board chief Sourav Ganguly speaks to the office bearers.

The IPL was originally scheduled to begin on March 29, but the outbreak of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic saw the tournament being suspended till April 15. But now, with the lockdown likely to be extended across the country, holding the tournament looks out of question. “We are looking at multiple options, and are awaiting a government directive. For now, it is extremely difficult to host the tournament,” one of the officials in the know of things said.

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If the tournament is cancelled, there would be a loss of around Rs 3000 crore. And keeping that in mind, efforts are on to look for an alternative window, later in the year. “When things have come to a standstill, there is no scope for hosting a tournament now. But we have to keep all factors in mind and take a call accordingly,” the official said.

It also needs to be seen when the visa restrictions are lifted -- even the situation comes to normal. For now, a possible option is to host it sometime in September or October, just before the World T20 in Australia. However, Board sources indicate that ‘it is too early to make a comment’ on that.

One of the franchise owners, too, admitted that at this point of time, an IPL is ‘out of question’. “The safety of people comes first. Everything else can wait. We are in touch with the BCCI and we will have to take a collective decision,” the owner said.

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