The 2020 Indian Premier League is almost certainly cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic as the number of cases in India cross 1000. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)
The coronavirus pandemic has locked down all cricketing activities in the world, with the Tokyo 2020 Olympics postponed to 2021 while the Euro 2020 football tournament has also been postponed to the next year. Cricket is under a total lockdown with all international and domestic cricket suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic. In India, the number of coronavirus cases has gone past 1000 with close to 30 deaths. This has cast a big shadow on the Indian Premier League that was postponed to April 15 due to the coronavirus. However, with the coronavirus rising exponentially, the chances of the IPL being held in April is now all but over with the 21-day lockdown annoucement by Prime Minister Narendra Modi ending only on April 14.
According to an Indian Express report, the IPL will not happen this year. The BCCI is waiting for an announcement from the Indian government and sports ministry on visas before it makes the official announcement. The BCCI will officially address the issue with the IPL franchises after April 15, when the countrywide lockdown initiated by the central government ends. The Indian Express report further said, if IPL happens in 2021, then there will be no mega auction. Instead, the status quo will continue and IPL franchises will be allowed to pick players if they want too.
As per the schedule, the mega auction was supposed to take place in 2021 with franchises allowed to retain a few players while the rest were supposed to go under the hammer. According to one source in the IPL who told the Indian Express, "IPL will not happen this year. It will now happen next year. We all know how the situation is at the moment in the country and no one will take any risk. One can’t have social distancing in the stadium. It’s better to play IPL next year. Also, no mega auction will take place. We will inform the franchises once we get final confirmation from the Indian government."
Following the declaration of the coronavirus being a pandemic by the World Health Organisation, the Government of India suspended all tourist visas until April 15. This forced the Indian Premier League to be postponed till April 15 as the overseas players would not be allowed to come to India. In the meeting that was conducted between the IPL franchisees and the governing council in Mumbai on Saturday, both sides decided to adopt a wait-and-watch policy.
However, BCCI head Sourav Ganguly has admitted that whenever IPL 2020 will begin, the edition will be a truncated one. "It will happen, because if it is April 15, then, in any case 15 days are gone, it has to be truncated. How truncated, how many games, I can't say at the moment. We will monitor further. Safety is most important and with the current situation with what is going around the world and in India, with government directives, we have even postponed the remaining domestic matches," Ganguly said.