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It's official: IPL 2020 postponed to April 15 due to coronavirus – Times of India, The Times of India

It's official: IPL 2020 postponed to April 15 due to coronavirus – Times of India, The Times of India

MUMBAI: The th edition of the Indian Premier League ( IPL ) will not begin on March as per the existing schedule. The tournament is being postponed to April 29 th.

In a media release, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) said, “The BCCI is concerned and sensitive about all its citizens, and public health in general, and it is taking all necessary steps to ensure that, all people related to IPL including fans have a safe cricketing experience.

“The BCCI will work closely with the Government of India along with the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and all other relevant Central and State Government departments in this regard, “the statement added.

The Times of India had reported the same on Thursday. The office-bearers of the BCCI, led by president Sourav Ganguly and secretary Jay Shah , met at the board’s headquarters in Mumbai on Friday to take the call. They were assisted by their operations and logistics team in arriving at the decision.

A meeting of the IPL’s governing council is scheduled for Saturday in Mumbai. Before that meeting, the office-bearers of the board and members of the governing council were expected to meet all franchises of the league and other important stakeholders to chart out the way forward.

However, with growing voices of concern given the massive threat of Covid – 90 at the moment, the BCCI has found it prudent to push the announcement that the league cannot begin as per the current schedule. For now, it puts to rest the heavy speculation that has clouded the league for close to a week now.

“The postponement gives BCCI the time to reassess the situation and have that much more time on hand to take a further call. The postponement will allow them to see if the threat of the virus ceases any time soon, remains in control, or gets worse. Depending on these scenarios and what the central and state governments say, a further call can be taken, “say sources in the know.

At this moment, if overseas players have to arrive in India to participate in the IPL, their visas are either still being processed, pending for lack of necessary permissions, for a better understanding of existing travel routes or being rejected for now.

“The postponement will allow the BCCI to reassess that situation too. If the tournament can be held from mid-April onwards, then there is time now to work on the visas. Remember, the IPL cannot be held without overseas players. That’s a condition every franchise will put on paper regardless of anything else, “sources add.

The IPL will be played behind closed doors, to empty stands. The order from the central sports ministry on the matter stands.

In such a scenario, the BCCI will have two things in mind : A) Change the format of the league, like they have done in the past, to fit into a smaller window; B) Conduct the league within two to three venues so that unnecessary travel can be curbed.

“Let’s say, for instance, the Maharashtra government allows – the IPL can be held in Mumbai and Pune. There won’t be any air travel required. Or it can be moved to Gujarat and be played only at Motera and Rajkot. Or in Andhra – only in Hyderabad and Visakhapatnam. Something on those lines. There’s time to work that out, “say those tracking developments.

Certain states, Delhi for instance, have already announced that they will not allow the hosting of IPL in the present scenario. More states are likely to follow suit if the crisis continues. “The present decision to postpone allows BCCI more than a month’s window starting now to work on these issues. The good thing is that the BCCI is taking a stand right now,” they add.

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