The worsening situation of COVID-19 outbreak has forced Indian Government to extend the 21-day lockdown for 19 more days till 3rd May. The COVID-19 outbreak has so far infected over 11,000 people and in the process claiming over 350 lives in the subcontinent.
With the extension of lockdown, the future of IPL remains under the dark clouds. The marquee tournament which was earlier deferred by the BCCI till 15th April has been postponed for indefinite time.
While a no. of reports resurfacing time and again over the future of IPL 2020, BCCI treasurer Arun Dhumal has voiced that this is certainly not a situation to take a call on the future of IPL.
While terming all the speculations ‘Pre-mature’, Dhumal said, “Right now, the picture is very hazy. We don’t even know when the lockdown will end and if we don’t know, how can we even have a meaningful discussion. Once we get a clarity from the government, we can then sit and take fresh stock of the situation. Any speculation about it’s future will be premature,” in an exclusive interaction with PTI.
During the interaction, Dhumal also quashed all the reports about organising the IPL in November –December. “Everyone wants IPL to happen but let’s have some clarity first. Tell me one thing. Firstly, if Australia is under lockdown for six months, how can we conclude that they will allow their players to travel from next month right away? What if the travel restrictions for its citizens are still in place? How will they come to India then? And don’t forget that other boards also need to agree,” Dhumal said.
“Secondly, even if the lockdown ends in India, what if some of the major cities still have those COVID ‘hotspots’? Can we risk the lives of our sportspersons? Thirdly, the players are likely to go without training for months.
“Even if we are in a position to conduct a tournament, for international players, we need to give them a bare minimum time to do full-fledged training before we can start a tournament. All these factors can only be clear when we are in a position to discuss,” he added.