The outbreak of the Coronavirus ensured that every major and minor event around the globe comes to a grinding halt. One of the events that is suffering the consequences of this outbreak is the Indian Premier League (IPL 2020).
The event’s initial starting date was the 29th of March. However, due to the spread of the virus, the date shifted to 15th April. Now, there is no guarantee of whether the event will commence on that day or not. The primary reason for this is the nationwide lockdown of India for 21 days.
The first time when the issue of the virus arises, the BCCI and the IPL 2020 committee decide to proceed with the event behind closed doors. At that time, the Indian Government put a ban on issuing all foreign visas. This was an obstacle for the event to proceed. The IPL 2020 franchises did not wish to go ahead without the foreign players.
Now, the Government will lift the nationwide lockdown and the ban on foreign visas on 15th April. Therefore, commenting on the possibility of the tournament going ahead on 15th April, the lead owner of Rajasthan Royals says that it is better for the cricket economy that it initiates behind closed doors.
Manoj Badale says, “If the way of ensuring the cricket economy survives is by playing behind closed doors, so be it.”
Another option for IPL 2020 is to have it at a much later date. However, the issue at that point is ensuring all players have clear schedules. Regardless, Badale feels that the event must go forward to ensure the global cricket economy survives. He emphasises on the $600m the event creates every year.
“Fundamentally, to the cricket economy – not just to the Indian cricket economy, but to the global cricket economy – the IPL is incredibly important.”
Even though right now there is no official confirmation, the cash-rich event moving forward without an audience is possible.