The fate of IPL is uncertain amidst the coronavirus outbreak in India. The 13th edition of the Indian Premier League was scheduled to start on March 29, 2020, with the first match between Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings. However, the increasing number of COVID-19 cases in the country forced the BCCI to suspend the tournament indefinitely.
BCCI is expected to face huge monetary losses of INR 4000 crore if the cash-rich league doesn’t take place. As a result, the franchises and the board are looking for alternative options for the commencement of the tournament.
Recently, Venky Mysore, the CEO of IPL franchise Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR), suggested some interesting measures which can be taken to ensure the safety of both players and fans. Venky said that the technology can come handy in making fans watch the match live. He suggested the virtual presence of the fans in the stadium to ensure that the temperament of the players remains unaffected.
Venky Mysore told ESPNCricInfo, “Technology is going to play a massive role. I am just saying, if you’re thinking out of the box – an LED wall in stands where, through social media, [fans] can virtually be present there. There are people who’ll be reacting the same way if they were physically at the ground. People have said something about simulation too,”
Venky also stated that the presence of the overseas players in the Indian Premier League is very important. He is of the view that IPL should be not be glorified as a domestic tournament.
Mysore asserted, “Why [IPL] has caught the imagination of the country and the world is the quality of the product. The best of the best – this is the pinnacle. So I’m of the strong view that the format of the tournament should not be tinkered with. Also, It should not be a glorified domestic tournament,”
Talking about the safety of the players, Mysore suggested some crucial measures that can be taken by the BCCI. He believes that IPL 2020 can be conducted in a particular city having 3-4 stadiums. Venky Mysore revealed, “If we were to think of something like that, the idea that was tossed around was what if you think of a city like Mumbai. There are already four grounds here if you include the Reliance Ground. And if you think about Pune, which is only two and half hours away, you could easily contain whole activity,”
He further added, “You can assign one hotel to each team, make sure each team has two buses, fully sanitized and proper distancing maintained. So the logistics of travel is completely removed – no airports, no flights. You reduce the risk to a level people feel comfortable and can live with it,”
Venky signed off saying, “This is obviously based on the premise that things are under control. We get some kind of a blessing from the powers that be. I think it’s a doable model. And in this environment, if we could pull it off, it would be fascinating, without touching the quality of the product that we’ve all so carefully built,”