The Sports Minister of India, Kiren Rijiju, said earlier this year that India will not host any
international events in the immediate future during and post Covid-19. India is yet to resume any of their domestic leagues, although much of the rest of the world has loosened up its stance on sporting events.
With major leagues resuming play as early as June. The English Premier League and Spanish La Liga resumed play in-front of empty stadiums with fans watching from home instead. The NBA and NHL over in the US continued playing this month, extreme
measures were taken where all teams are moved to a specific location where they play
matches, practice and live inside a bubble with harsh restrictions to the outside world.
There are finally talks of resuming the Indian Premier League, news that comes as a huge relief for cricket fans and organisations alike.
Major sports events have deep roots that stretch across all levels of society, from the sprawling cities of Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore to the most remote rural villages in Uttar Pradesh. Sports can be compared to that of religion in the way it unites and engages people of any background or geography. As such, sports is a massive industry that is worth a lot of money.
The ban on sporting events that have been active in India since mid-March, therefore, has had and will continue to have dire financial consequences. Even with partial restrictions, as with the IPL, the economic losses compared to a normal season pre-COVID-19 will be massive. However, even with depressed revenue streams, the amount of money at play is still very substantial.
The annual revenue of the Indian Premier League is estimated to be around 4,000 crores. Beneficiary industries that are negatively impacted by the ban on sporting events are sports wagering operators and media platforms such as DD Sports and Star Sports. As sports came to a halt, all sports wagering activity stopped since there were no matches to bet on.
As a result, sports wagering companies have had a couple of depressing months in the wake of the Covid-19 outbreak and are eagerly and anxiously awaiting all major sports and leagues to resume play.
Perfect Timing for the IPL
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) was eager to start the IPL season. The window of opportunity opened up after the International Cricket Council (ICC) decided to cancel the T20 World Championship which was scheduled to be played in Australia through October and November. The ICC didn’t have as much choice as Australia, due to the situation and massive financial losses were unwilling to host the World Championship. In addition to the IPL having to be played in front of empty stadiums, the season won't be played in India.
Of course, the Indian government, the BCCI and other stakeholders would have wanted the IPL to be played in India. Due to the Coronavirus, the IPL will be moved to a different, not yet agreed upon, location. We should expect an official statement in relation to where the IPL will be played out.