IPL planning return in empty stadiums

Image Courtesy: Twitter/TOI

After three months of suspension amidst the novel Coronavirus pandemic, world sports has finally seeing their return to action, albeit slowly. Regarding cricket, India has scheduled their tour of Australia coming December. However, global fans of the sport were eager on the outcome of the multiple cancellations that IPL 2020 had to face, and now, BCCI has confirmed that the cash rich cricket tournament is planning to have a behind closed doors return!

Image Courtesy: Twitter/TOI

The 13th season of Indian Premier League was scheduled to begin on 29th March, but the COVID-19 crisis pushed back the date at first to 15th April, and after the lock down extension in the country, the tournament faced suspension again, without confirming a possible return date.

However, BCCI president Sourav Ganguly has shed some light on the future of the tournament, stating that a behind closed door tournament is likely a possible option later this year.

“The BCCI is working on all possible options to ensure that we are able to stage the IPL this year, even if it means playing the tournament in empty stadiums. The fans, franchisees, players, broadcasters, sponsors and all other stakeholders are keenly looking forward to the possibility of IPL being hosted this year,” Ganguly’s letter to the state associations read, as quoted by Times of India.

IPL, which observes a huge fan following all over the world, has a lofty number of foreign players and stakeholders, as Ganguly’s letter further stated: “Recently a lot of players, both from India and other countries, participating in IPL have also shown their keenness on being a part of this year IPL.”

“We are optimistic and the BCCI will shortly decide on the future course of action on this,” Dada added.

On the other hand, ICC has the Men’s T20 World Cup in the current year’s schedule, but is yet to confirm the dates of the tournament. While possibility of a clash with the upcoming IPL’s schedule can not be ruled out, Brijesh Patel, the tournament’s governing council chairman, has stated that hosting the tournament in the September-October window is the current target.

“We are ready to go ahead with the IPL. But we can start planning the schedule formally only after the official announcement is made on the T20 World Cup, which I’m expecting will arrive anytime soon. On our part, we’ve already earmarked the September-October window for the tournament to be played.” Patel said in an interview with TOI.

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