There’s hope that the 2020 Indian Premier League will go ahead following the latest government advice but the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) remains cautious.
On Sunday, the Indian government announced a number of relaxed restrictions amid the coronavirus outbreak which continues to grow in the subcontinental country with more than 90,000 confirmed cases, including almost 5,000 on Sunday.
Despite the upward trend, the government announced relaxed restrictions on sporting events, permitting them to take place behind closed doors, which could enable the IPL to be played and satisfy their lucrative broadcast deal.
However, the BCCI said it was too early to discuss the implications of the changes in relation to the 2020 IPL, despite welcoming the announcement.
The major obstacle for the BCCI to overcome remains the inability of domestic air travel, meaning movement of players is not possible, while international travel remains a long way from being permitted, with the country still in lockdown until May 31.
BCCI treasurer Arun Dhumal said in a media statement from the governing body: “The board reiterates that the safety and well-being of its athletes and support staff is paramount and will not rush into any decision that can hamper or jeopardise India’s efforts in containing the spread of the virus.
“Taking into the account the restrictions on air travel and movement of people till May 31, the BCCI will wait further before organising a skill-based training camp for its contracted players.”
Dhumal wouldn’t be drawn on the potential October-November time slot for the 2020 IPL which may open up if the T20 ICC World Cup in Australia cannot proceed, given international travel restrictions.
Former Australia captain Mark Taylor said potentially utilising the window made sense given the challenges currently facing international cricket.
“If the ICC decides to postpone the event that will open the door for the BCCI to say that we will have our IPL in India which actually puts the onus back on individuals rather than nations moving whole teams over to a certain country,” Taylor said.