Coronavirus: IPL franchises seek clarity after league suspension

Even as the BCCI issued a statement stating that the IPL will only be held after April 15, the franchises are still looking for clarity on a number of issues.

The IPL franchises will gather at the BCCI headquarters on Saturday morning before the Governing Council meets.

The IPL franchises will gather at the BCCI headquarters on Saturday morning before the Governing Council meets.   -  K.V.S. Giri

Even as the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) issued a statement on Friday stating that the Indian Premier League (IPL) will only be held after April 15, the franchises are still looking for clarity on a number of issues.

Most of the franchise bosses who spoke to Sportstar admitted that the picture will be clear only after Saturday’s IPL Governing Council meeting.

“That’s one of our major concerns. If the window is expanded, then the planning needs to be done accordingly,” the franchise official said.

With the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak now declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization, the new guidelines by India’s union health ministry and the ministry of external affairs have imposed restrictions on visas till April 15. So, the other question is, how will it be possible for overseas players to travel to the country in time for the tournament.

“Some of the visas have been approved well in advance. We don’t know what happens to all that now. But the thing is, there has to be a clear guideline from the board,” a franchise official from south India said.

READ| IPL 2020 suspended till April 15 amid coronavirus fears

However, an IPL Governing Council member indicated that the BCCI will follow up with the central ministries soon for more clarity.

“Now we have some time. So, we will start the dialogue with the concerned ministry soon and follow their guidelines,” the member said, adding that no decision has been taken yet on the venues.

On Friday, BCCI president Sourav Ganguly and secretary Jay Shah had a long meeting with Uday Shankar, chairman of Star India, which is the official broadcaster of the IPL.

“The efforts are on to figure out a Plan B. But this is a global concern and beyond one’s control, so we will have to wait and watch,” said one of the members of the board, hoping that the situation will improve in the coming weeks.

The IPL franchises will gather at the BCCI headquarters on Saturday morning before the Governing Council meets.

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