BCCI has taken cognizance of the statement, made by the Indian Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju, making it clear that fan’s security will be its topmost priority amidst such extraordinary times.
With social distancing becoming a new normal in the post-corona world, Indian sports minister Kiren Rijiju had recently said that the country should be ready for sporting events to be held behind closed doors.
The BCCI is mulling at staging the 13th edition of the Indian Premier League between September 25-November 01 window but a senior board official has made it clear that gate money wouldn’t be the primary focus of revenue generation in such times.
“In these extraordinary times gate money is the least of anyone’s concerns. Fan safety obviously takes priority. When cricket happens, the broadcast revenue is the first chunk of revenue necessary for the BCCI and the state associations’ subsistence. The same is the case for the IPL,” a BCCI official told IANS.
He added: “Nobody is going to say no to gate revenue, but no one in their right minds is going to give gate money preference over fan safety. Those who have organized matches, understand this basic tenet. Moreover, the Sports Minister has given a statement and he represents the government with regard to the sporting ecosystem in the country and one must take note of the same and understand the gravity of the situation,”
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Rijiju also made it clear that while sporting activities will gradually resume in the country, the decision on whether the IPL should be staged or not will be taken by the Indian government on the basis of the then circumstances.
“In India, the government has to take a call and it will take a call depending on the situation. We cannot put health at risk just because we want to have a sporting event. Our focus is fighting COVID-19 and at the same time we will have to work a mechanism to get back to normalcy. It is difficult to confirm dates but I am sure we will have some kind of sporting events this year,” Rijiju told India Today.
“We have been advising that health and safety are top priorities and besides that we have to keep in mind guidelines issued by the home ministry and the guidelines issued by the local authorities. We have been planning to resume the events but before that we need to resume the practice and training. We cannot resume tournaments immediately,” he added.
The 13th edition of the Indian Premier League was originally scheduled to take place from March 29th but the tournament was twice postponed- firstly till 15th April and then for an indefinite period of time- following the stringent lockdown restrictions in the country.