Last Saturday, Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), Government of India issued guidelines for the Lockdown 5.0 or (Unlock 1.0) which will be valid for a month from 1 June 2020 to 30 June 2020.
These new guidelines focuses on phased reopening of different types of places and easing travel conditions. More importantly, phase three of lockdown 5.0 focuses on resuming of international air travel and sports events. This will give the eternally postponed Indian Premier League 2020 edition a major boost.
“Based on assessment of the situation (Phase 3), dates for restarting following will be decided—international air travel of passengers, gymnasiums, swimming pools, social/political/sports/entertainment functions and large congregations,” the new MHA guidelines state.
“It’s a positive. If international travel resumes, and sporting activities will be allowed, then we can plan for the future,” Arun Dhumal, BCCI treasurer, was quoted as saying by Hindustan Times.
The 13th edition of Indian Premier League (IPL) was first scheduled to commence on 29 March 2020 with a match between previous year’s finalists. However, due to spread of CoViD-19 pandemic, the marquee tournament was first postponed until 15 April 2020. Later on, the Board for Control of Cricket in India (BCCI) adopted ‘wait and watch’ policy and the tournament was postponed indefinitely until any further decision.
There were always dark clouds looming over the fate of 13th edition of IPL, as the situation arising from Coronavirus deteriorated day by day, until the guidelines of lockdown 5.0 was issued. It was highly anticipated that the 2020 edition of the cash rich tournament would be cancelled. However, the guidelines issued by MHA recently, will surely give a big boost to the hopes of all IPL and cricket lovers.
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Earlier, BCCI Chief Executive Officer Rahul Johri also said that the much-awaited tournament could take place after the monsoon with international stars. There are speculations that T20 World Cup 2020, scheduled to be held in October – November this year in Australia, might be postponed to next year, which also empties October – November slot for the lucrative tournament to be held.