The COVID-19 pandemic took a major hit at all sporting activities worldwide, including cricket, which saw all its upcoming series and fixtures facing cancellation or postponement. This year’s Indian Premier League season, which has been the highest grossing cricket tournament since its initiation, also faced a suspension, firs time in the history of the league. Along with suspending such a cash rich league like IPL comes a hefty monetary loss, and it has been estimated that a cancelled IPL could cost BCCI an astounding Rs. 40 billion!
The thirteenth edition of IPLwas originally pushed back from its original inaugural date of 29th March to 15th April, a day after the nationwide lock down in India was supposed to be over. Unfortunately, the situation worsened as the Coronavirus number started rising, and the lock down had to be extended.
While there are talks going on about an IPL in late 2020, chances of a cancellation of the tournament is still on the books, which will land BCCI with a huge loss.
“The BCCI is looking at a big revenue loss. In case the IPL does not take place, the loss would be close to 40 billion rupees ($530 million), or even more,” Arun Dhumal, the BCCI treasurer said.
Other than the absence of the huge crowd from the county and abroad, IPL sees a number of foreign sponsors and investors each year. While hopes are high to see the blockbuster tournament setting itself in action, there are chances that India will observe its first IPL cancellation.
“We are not sure whether we will be able to have it this year,” Dhumal went on, “We will only be able to figure out the exact revenue loss once we are sure of how many games we have lost.”
In case of a cancellation, steps will be taken by BCCI to rectify the monetary loss, but cutting the salary of players has not been considered an option, but a last resort. “That would be the last thing that we would want to do at our end,” Dhumal continued, “That is why we are working (on) how much is the loss finally we have to pay.”
“So once we are able to assess that then we might consider it, but it will be the last thing on our agenda,” Dhumal added.