The IPL joins the long list of sporting events affected by COVID - 19. But, will the situation improve enough for the IPL to be held on April 15?
The Indian Premier League (IPL) is undoubtedly India's best sports league and one of the world's best ones too. It is then no wonder that India's advertisers spend big bucks on it which afaqs! was taking stock of recently.
The league was scheduled to be held from March 29 – May 24. However, due to the fear of COVID – 19, the prospect of the league being held as per its original schedule looked dim.
Adding to that, the government of Maharashtra had banned ticket sales for the first match of IPL 2020 in Mumbai and the government of India had suspended all visas except select ones till April 15; this meant foreign national players wouldn't have been able to participate in the league's first two weeks.
The BCCI (Indian cricket board), clearing all confusion, said today (March 13) that they are postponing the league till April 15 as a precautionary measure against COVID – 19.
A post on the IPL website said:
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has decided to suspend IPL 2020 till 15th April 2020, as a precautionary measure against the ongoing Novel Corona Virus (COVID-19) situation.
The BCCI is concerned and sensitive about all its stakeholders, and public health in general, and it is taking all necessary steps to ensure that, all people related to IPL including fans have a safe cricketing experience.
The BCCI will work closely with the Government of India along with the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and all other relevant Central and State Government departments in this regard.
While April 15 is also the date when the government's visa suspension decision comes to an end which means foreign national players can visit India to participate in the IPL, it remains to be seen if the situation will be conducive enough for the league to take place.