Many Indian players have said they are not too concerned about whether the IPL will start on April 15. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)
The coronavirus pandemic has stalled all cricketing activity in the world and the Indian Premier League is no exception. The 2020 edition of the IPL, which was supposed to begin on March 29, was postponed to April 15 due to the coronavirus pandemic. However, with the announcement of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's 21-day lockdown in order to contain the coronavirus and with the lockdown all set to be extended, the chances of IPL 2020 happening immediately after the lockdown is lifted appears slim. Rajeev Shukla, who was once the chairman of the IPL Governing Council, has admitted that the chances of IPL 2020 happening on April 15 or anytime after that is next to impossible.
"I don't see any preparation, our priority is to fight coronavirus and save people. See it will all depend on the government what decision they will take. We will go by the government decision. We are hearing that lockdown may extend in this situation if you think IPL can happen by April 15 so it seems not possible," Shukla told ANI.
Apart from the situation in India, the coronavirus pandemic has caused havoc in the rest of the world. The United Kingdom has seen over 65000 positive cases with close to 8000 deaths while Australia has imposed an indefinite travel ban in order to contain the coronavirus pandemic. Even South Africa is under a three-week lockdown that will end on April 16.
Kevin Pietersen, the former England captain and skipper, however has stated that IPL 2020 should be played behind closed doors and should begin potentially by July or August should the clearances be given for international travel. The main reason for proposing a 'condensed' league was that safety of the fans was paramount.
There are reports that the IPL could be held in the July/August window once the situation improves. (Image credit: Getty Images)
"Let's say July/August is the earliest, I do truly believe the IPL should happen. I do believe it is the kick-start to the cricket season. I think every single player around the world is desperate to play the IPL. There could be a way in which to get some money into the franchises, into the economy by having a situation where you use maybe three venues which are completely closed to fans and the players can still go out and play the tournament in three weeks or in four weeks. So, it's a more condensed tournament in three venues which we know are safe, which we know are secure," Pietersen said in the Star Sports' show Cricket Connected.
India batsman and Mumbai Indians skipper Rohit Sharma is not too concerned about whether the IPL will start on April 15. For him, it is all about improving the situation first regarding the coronavirus. "We should first think about the country. The situation needs to get better first then we can talk about the IPL. Let life get back to normal first," Rohit said in an Instagram chat with his team-mate Yuzvendra Chahal.