IPL is the most affluent and successful league in the history of the cricket. The tournament has its viewership all across the globe. This is the reason that the BCCI is now brooding over shifting the marquee tournament abroad amid the worsening CoViD-19 situation in India.
Although, Government of India have started to resume the normal services, yet it would be very difficult to guarantee bio-secure environment so early. While some other Cricket Nations have started training of International Players in Bio-secure environment, Indian Cricketers have not played any cricket since the tour of New Zealand. The players will also need at least 6-7 weeks training before getting match ready.
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In a recent talk, the BCCI treasurer Arun Dhumal talked chances of IPL in India. “If it is safe for our players to play IPL in India, then it would be our first preference but in case the situation does not permit and we are not left with any choice and a window is available then we can look at moving IPL 2020 out of India,” Dhumal was quoted as saying in an exclusive interview with Times Now.
In the 12-years history of the tournament, only twice the BCCI has organised the IPL abroad. Once in 2009 when the entire tournament had to be shifted to South Africa due to general elections in India. And again in 2014, when initial phase of the tournament was played in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) due to the same reason.
“We have done it in the past in South Africa. We may not want to do it willingly but if that’s the only possibility then there is not much anyone can do about it,” Dhumal stated.
IPL is paramount for the financial health of the BCCI in 2020. If IPL is called off, Indian Cricket board and IPL stakeholders will have to bear a loss of more than USD 500 Million. Recently, SLC and UAE have also come forward to host IPL in these circumstances but Dhumal is quite unsure of anything at the moment.
“No country is safe from the Covid-19 pandemic so it’s not going to be easy if we decided to shift IPL out of the country and take players to Sri Lanka, Dubai or South Africa. The situation is almost the same everywhere, international travel restrictions are also a problem.
“Sri Lanka was okay but in the last couple of days cases have risen there so problems are there, we need to deal with them,” he added.