IPL franchises are divided on the issue of playing the 13th edition of the cash-rich league behind closed doors.
The development comes after BCCI President Sourav Ganguly wrote a letter to all the stakeholders associated with the staging of the tournament.
As per the letter, the Board of Control For Cricket in India [BCCI] is mulling over all possible options to ensure that the lucrative T20 tournament takes place this year, even if it means playing it behind closed doors.
Kolkata Knight Riders CEO Venky Mysore is in favor of the move since according to him the prime focus at this point should be on ensuring the security of everyone involved.
“Firstly, the primary focus will be the health & safety of all concerned – fans, players, support staff & everyone involved. So detailed protocol has been developed for that. Secondly, if & when the IPL 2020 season takes place, we all understand that it will be without fans and spectators in the stadium. So everyone is not only prepared for that but also believes it is appropriate given the risks of the pandemic. However, there are many creative ideas being curated by leveraging technology that will come as a pleasant surprise to fans and the players,” Venky Mysore told Times Now.
Franchise owners on the possibility of the IPL taking place behind closed doors
Dhiraj Malhotra, the CEO of Delhi Capitals, is also of the same view.
“It seems like the only option at the moment. It will still be profitable as gate money is only 15-20% of our entire revenue. It won’t be the same without fans, everyone can agree on it, but it’s the only option for any sport right now,” he said.
According to the sources, Kings XI Punjab and Chennai Super Kings owners have sought complete clarity and transparency on the future plans. The franchises are of the view that playing the IPL without the fans should be the last option and not the primary one.
Speculations are rife that the BCCI is looking at the September-November window to stage the IPL. But that is only possible if the T20 World Cup is postponed to a later date. The ICC Board is scheduled to meet next month to decide the future of the quadrennial event and indirectly of the IPL.