Rahul Johri, the CEO of the Board of Control for Cricket (BCCI) recently confirmed that the 13th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) can take place after the monsoon season in India. IPL 2020 was deferred for an indefinite time after the rise in the number of coronavirus cases in the country.
The league was scheduled to start from March 29, 2020 with the first match between Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings. However, after April 15, the authorities suspended the tournament indefinitely. More than 112K people have been infected by the deadly virus while 3,435 have lost their lives in India.
According to the latest developments by the central government, the players are allowed to practice in the stadiums while practicing social distancing and with no spectators. This has evoked hope in the cricket fans of seeing their favorite stars play on the match field sooner.
While talking at the TCM Sports Huddle webinar, the CEO of BCCI revealed that the cricket fans are in abundance in India. He added that the game of cricket is a leader when it comes to collecting revenue and the sport will soon have a massive recovery.
Johri said, “More people watched the IPL last year than those who voted for general elections. For sponsors, cricket is a leader and it will lead the way. The recovery will be sharper than a V-shaped recovery,”
Rahul Johri further added that the recovery of the sport will take time as it is not a spontaneous process. He said that the authorities would have to take care of a lot of things. The BCCI is banking heavily on the ICC men’s T20 World Cup getting postponed this year to conduct the IPL at that time in India.
BCCI’s CEO said, “It will be a step-by-step process. We can’t expect normalization tomorrow,” he said. Johri did mention though, that the players’ decision to pull out would be respected. When flights resume, everyone has to quarantine themselves before playing. We will have to look at how that will impact the schedules, which as it is are tight. Imagine you have to factor in 14-day quarantine prior to practice also. So, there are a lot of moving parts. But we are still optimistic. Hopefully, the situation will improve after the monsoon, and we will approach it then,”