Cricket Article

India Situation Worsens: IPL on Govt Backburner

India Situation Worsens: IPL on Govt Backburner Photo: TT
Mumbai Indians cricketers celebrate taking the wicket of Chennai Super Kings captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni during the 2019 Indian Premier League (IPL) Twenty20 final cricket match between Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings

The Indian Sports Minister has reiterated any decisions on the 2020 Indian Premier League will be made by the government not the Board of Control for Cricket in India.

Indian Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju spoke on Sunday with India’s coronavirus curve heading upwards in a worrying trend for the Asian nation, which now has more than 132,000 confirmed cases and suffered 3,867 deaths.

India recorded 6,767 new cases on Sunday, with the country into its fourth phase of lockdown, meaning the IPL, despite its lucrative nature to cricket, has become low priority for the government.

“In India, the government has to take a call and it will take a call depending upon the situation,” Rijiju said on Sunday.

“We cannot put health at risk because we want to have a sporting event. Our focus is fighting COVID-19.”

This year’s IPL final was due to be played on Sunday, but instead the whole season has been postponed, with speculation it could be re-scheduled to October and November when the T20 ICC World Cup was due to take place. The T20 World Cup appears in Australia likely to be suspended given the challenges with international travel.

It’s understood the BCCI are planning to play the IPL behind closed doors but finding an appropriate window of time to hold the tournament is their main challenge, given India’s upward curve.

Former Australia captain Allan Border said replacing the World Cup with the IPL was a “money grab” and believed international players shouldn’t compete if that’s the case.

Ex-South Africa skipper Faf du Plessis added he felt both tournaments were possible if organisers kept their schedules flexible.

Another ex-Australia captain Mark Taylor said he wanted the ICC to make a call on the T20 World Cup this week, given the uncertainty about the international cricket schedule.

The ICC are scheduled to meet on Thursday 28 May.

Ben somerford
Sports Pundit staff writer @bensomerford
Australian journalist who specialises on all sports, focusing on football, tennis, basketball and racing, having written for global publications including FourFourTwo, AAP, Inside Futbol and many more....

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