IPL 2020 Postponed Indefinitely after Lockdown Extension
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has postponed the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2020 indefinitely. The IPL 13 which is scheduled to start from March 29, was postponed till April 15, but Prime Minister of India on Wednesday announced lockdown extension to fight the coronavirus pandemic in India till May 3, BCCI has postponed the cash-rich league until further notice. The BCCI may or may not consider a September-October window after May 03 or later and may take a call depending on the global situation.
The BCCI on Tuesday told IPL franchises that the event stands “postponed indefinitely” after the lockdown to combat the COVID-19 pandemic was extended till May 3, leaving no scope for the league to take place during its designated window. While the development hasn’t been officially announced as yet but it is learned that the BCCI has reached out to all the stakeholders, including the eight franchises and the broadcasters, to convey that the event stands “postponed and not canceled”. “Yes, the BCCI has intimated us that IPL has been postponed for the time being but they are hopeful of finding a window later this year as and when things normalize,” a veteran franchise official said. BCCI president Sourav Ganguly had earlier ruled out the chances of holding the tournament later in the year.
The decision follows a meeting between the BCCI’s top officials over a conference call on Tuesday evening. Among those involved in the discussions were BCCI president Sourav Ganguly, secretary Jay Shah, IPL chairman Brijesh Patel, BCCI treasurer Arun Dhumal, and Amin. It is very clear that BCCI president Sourav Ganguly and secretary Jay Shah were waiting for the government directive and once the lockdown was extended till May 3 on Tuesday, they saw no possibility of holding the IPL during its traditional April-May window.
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is the richest cricket board in the world. It receives huge earnings from the Indian Premier League (IPL). If cash-rich IPL might be canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the BCCI could suffer a loss of Rs 3,869 crore. None of the IPL players will receive any money until the tournament actually takes place. As per the norm, franchises make payments in two installments:
- The first a week before the tournament starts and the rest after the season is over. The franchises, too, will feel the pinch as they rely heavily on the IPL’s commercial revenue, which also includes broadcast rights which were bought by Star India for a record sum for five years in 2017.
- Every franchise, since then, was assured a minimum share worth INR 150 crore.
Cricketer-turned-commentator VVS Laxman said the IPL should kick off the cricket calendar that includes the Twenty20 World Cup in Australia in October and November. “I think some of the cricket boards will be encouraging the fact that IPL is a big tournament, and everyone acknowledges that,” Laxman
“And just before the World Cup, it will set the tone for a hectic cricket season. But I just hope that everything is normal, and no one is in danger. And once that happens, I am sure the IPL should kick off the cricket calendar.”
“Practically speaking, when life has come to a standstill everywhere in the world, where does sport have a future in this?” he said.
On Tuesday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced that India will remain under lockdown till May 3 to contain COVID cases. Earlier, the 21-day lockdown announced by the PM last month was ended on Tuesday.
“Till 20th April, all districts, localities, states will be closely monitored, as to how strictly they are implementing norms. States which will not let hotspots increase, they could be allowed to let some important activities resume, but with certain conditions,” Modi informed the nation in a televised address.
The BCCI has contributed Rs 51 crore to the Prime Minister’s Citizen Assistance and Relief in Emergency Situations Fund to help fight the coronavirus outbreak in the country.