In the light of the novel coronavirus outbreak, the Board of Control For Cricket in India (BCCI) might be forced to host the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2020 behind closed doors, as a precautionary measure.
The participating franchises in the lucrative tournament will be fine with the matches being played behind closed doors, given the overseas players are allowed to join their respective squads before April 15.
Allow foreign players to come in before April 15
The fresh visa advisory from the government has made it almost impossible for foreign players to join their respective teams before April 15 with the IPL slated to get underway from March 29.
Though it unlikely that the lucrative tournament will get underway as per schedule, the franchises are concerned about their overseas stars.
“See, the gate money is no issue as these things are insured. As for the fans, it is disappointing, but we don’t really have much of an option as we have to abide by the diktat of the central government and even WHO has declared the outbreak a “pandemic”.
“This makes it clear that if we have to have an IPL this year, it has to be behind closed doors. So now, would we rather want an IPL where fans can watch the games on television or we don’t want an IPL in 2020? So, we are okay with that, but the BCCI must sit down and speak to the central government to make an exception and allow the foreign players to come in before April 15 as the IPL loses its sheen otherwise,” the official said.
IPL 2020 likely to be played behind closed doors
According to a report in espncricinfo, the tournament is likely to be played behind closed doors. Though there is no confirmation on the stand, but after the World Health Organisation (WHO) declared the COVID-19 a pandemic, it is almost certain that it might be declared soon.