IPL
MS Dhoni and Rohit Sharma with the IPL trophy (Credits: Twitter)

BCCI treasurer Arun Dhumal, on Sunday, delivered a major update on the fate of Indian Premier League (IPL) 2020. The thirteenth edition of the IPL was set to start on March 29 but the BCCI has suspended it indefinitely in the light of the pandemic.

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On Sunday, the government of India announced the extension of the country-wide lockdown with some relaxations. In a major boost to sports, the Home Ministry has given the nod to re-opening of the sports stadiums.

“Sports complexes and stadia will be permitted to open; however, spectators will not be allowed,” stated the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) in the official statement.

Arun Dhumal, however, made it clear that the BCCI is far from considering an IPL at the moment. In a report in the Indian Express, the BCCI official stated that the board has no plans of holding the cash-rich league at the moment since there are restrictions on international and domestic travel.

“The IPL at the moment is not possible because travel restrictions are still there. So, how can you have the IPL without any travel happening? We are studying these guidelines and will study state governments’ guidelines also. Accordingly, we will plan,” Arun Dhumal said.

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IPL Trophy. Photo by: Deepak Malik /SPORTZPICS for BCCI

Arun Dhumal further said that the re-opening of stadia will help the local players to resume training. He, however, said that the entire Indian team cannot train together for understandable reasons.

“At a local level, cricketers can go to stadiums and resume outdoor training. But the entire team cannot get together because players are scattered,” Arun Dhumal said.

Talks about holding an IPL might only start in August, while the window for the tournament still remains an issue.

Also, according to a BCCI functionary, some of the IPL stakeholders have taken the T20 World Cup in Australia, for granted. He made it clear that the ICC will try all it can to make sure that the tournament goes ahead as scheduled. The marquee event is scheduled to take place in October-November in Australia.

“The T20 World Cup is an ICC event. It will generate revenue for the global body, and the ICC will do its level best to organise the tournament as per schedule,” he said.

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