IPL 2020: Franchises optimistic, but where is the window?

The tournament hasn’t been cancelled for this year, but given the international calendar, it wouldn’t be easy for the BCCI to find a slot for it.

Published : Apr 16, 2020 19:18 IST , Mumbai

Mumbai Indians celebrates after clinching the title on May 12, 2019. There is no clarity on when the tourney would be held this year.
Mumbai Indians celebrates after clinching the title on May 12, 2019. There is no clarity on when the tourney would be held this year.

Mumbai Indians celebrates after clinching the title on May 12, 2019. There is no clarity on when the tourney would be held this year.

The franchises saw it coming. With India in a lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it was quite evident that the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2020 wouldn’t be played this summer. But the eight franchises were waiting for an official word on whether the tournament would be put on hold temporarily or scrapped for the year.

A formal statement by the BCCI on Thursday, however, has brought some relief to all the stakeholders. In its letter to the franchises and the media, Board secretary Jay Shah has clarified that the tournament will be “suspended until further notice” and that “the 2020 season will only commence when it is safe and appropriate to do so.”

This “assurance” by the Board has made the franchises believe that there is still a possibility of hosting the tournament at a suitable time later this year. “The league has not been cancelled, it has been deferred to a later slot and now we are waiting to see what is the new window that they come up with. Once we get clarity on that, we can start our planning,” Delhi Capitals’ CEO, Dheeraj Malhotra, told Sportstar .

“Once the new window is announced, [only then can we] figure out whether the overseas players are available and whether it is hampering any international series. I am sure that the BCCI will keep everything in mind before coming up with new dates,” Malhotra said.

Rajasthan Royals’ executive chairman, Ranjit Barthakur, believes that once the situation improves, there will be enough time to think about the future course of action. “At this point of time, it is important to focus on the COVID-19 and ensure that things don’t go beyond our control. The health and safety issues are of prime concern for now. Once that’s taken care of, we can later think about reviving the cricketing subjects,” Barthakur said.


The Royals had earlier stated that they were ready to play the IPL with just the Indian players. However, now with the situation grim, it needs to be seen what the BCCI decides next, given the fact that the international cricketing calender is choc-a-block. “We are very optimistic of [having the IPL] later in the year. But before that the COVID-19 situation needs to improve.”

ALSO READ | IPL recap: When Warner, Bairstow handed KKR a drubbing

The IPL, which was to run till May 24 as per the original schedule, was first postponed till April 15, following the government’s restrictions on entry of foreigners due the spike in COVID-19 cases. The travel bar meant no international player could compete in the tournament if it went ahead on time.

An M. S. Dhoni fan at an IPL contest on May 2, 2014. The IPL has been held every year since 2008. - MANOB CHOWDHURY

However, even now, with no clarity on how things will pan out over the next few months, the BCCI doesn’t want to commit a particular date. “It’s too early to talk about all that. We are monitoring the overall situation and then only [could there] be a clarity on if and when we can host the tournament. Now is not the time to speculate,” one of the BCCI officials said.

While the franchises look optimistic, it may not be easy for the BCCI to find a new window. There are speculations that the BCCI could eye the September-October window, right before the T20 World Cup. But around that time, the Asia Cup, too, is to be held.

Even Sri Lanka Cricket has offered to host the IPL, sometime around July-August. The Sri Lanka Cricket president, Shammi Silva, has stated that he will write to the BCCI soon, offering their help to the BCCI. Even though the island nation is still under lockdown, Silva is confident of getting things ready by July-August. However, it needs to be seen whether the BCCI is in a mood to shift out the tournament out of India.

“For now, we have been told that the league is suspended until further notice. We will wait for the directives from the BCCI about the future course of action,” Kings XI Punjab CEO, Satish Menon, said.

The formal announcement by the BCCI may have put speculations to rest for now, but there is still a long way to go for IPL to happen this year.

Sign in to unlock all user benefits
  • Get notified on top games and events
  • Save stories to read later
  • Access to comment on every story
  • Sign up / manage to our newsletters with a single click
  • Get notified by email for early bird access to discounts & offers to our products
Sign in


Comments have to be in English, and in full sentences. They cannot be abusive or personal. Please abide to our community guidelines for posting your comment