- Lockdown in India extended
- IPL 2020 suspended by BCCI
- The franchises were informed by IPL’s Chief Operation Officer
As the Coronavirus pandemic has tightened its grip on India, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has decided to suspend the 13th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) until further notice. It is being assumed that the BCCI has not yet set a new window for the tournament which was originally supposed to help between 29th March and 24th May.
On Wednesday, all the 8 franchises of the IPL were informed of this decision by the Chief Operating Officer (COO) of the IPL, Hemang Amin. Amin informed the franchises that because of the extension of the nationwide lockdown until the 3rd of May as announced by PM Modi on 14th April, there is no possible way to host the event in the regular summer window.
The decision followed the meeting amongst the top officials of BCCI which held on Tuesday over a conference which was attended by Sourav Ganguly, President BCCI, Jay Shah, Secretary BCCI, Brijesh Patel, Chairman IPL, Arun Dhumal, Treasurer BCCI, and Amin.
This is the second time the BCCI has been forced to postpone the IPL, however, it is the only time where the postpone period is not told. Earlier last month, BCCI postponed IPL right before the nation went under a lockdown and pushed the start date of the IPL to 15th April.
However, On 14th April, what was to be the last day of the initial 21 day lockdown period, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the extension of the lockdown until 3rd May which meant that all domestic and international travel both in and out of the country remains blocked.
As the lockdown extended, it was made obvious that there was no chance IPL could be hosted in the foreseeable future.
Although BCCI was preparing for this scenario, but the board remained optimistic of hosting a smaller, 1 month long IPL with the final scheduled in the first week of June, Additionally, as a contingeny plan, the BCCI was even thinking of playing the matches behind close doors.
However, all those plans ended up with nothing as the number of COVID-19 cases in the country started increasing at an increasing rate even after the lockdown of 21 days. As of today, India has reported over 12,500 cases out of which over 420 people have lost their lives.
As the government of India, like many others around the globe, placed restrictions and asked to follow social distancing and travel bans, overseas players had no way to participate in the IPL which left BCCI with no other option but to suspend the IPL.
With the decision of suspending the Indian Premier League 2020, the stakeholders in the tournament including the placers will face a massive setback. At the auction last year in December , a total of 62 players were bought by the 8 franchises of IPL who collectively spent Rs. 140.30 crore.
With IPL being suspended, none of the players will be receiving the money until the tournament actually takes place as, following the norms of the tournament, a franchise makes payment to its players in two instalments, 1st one comes a week before the tournament starts and the 2nd after the IPL season is over.
Also, it is not just the players, but the franchises themselves as well as they rely heavily on the IPL’s commercials revenue which also includes the broadcasting rights which were bought by Star India back in 2018 for 5 year period at a record sum Rs. 16,347.5 crore. Since then, every franchise was assured to share a minimum of Rs. 150 crore.