As most parts of the world are engulfed in lockdown owing to the coronavirus pandemic, there is not one industry globally which can assert its certainty. The sports industry is not any exception and hence, one of the biggest events in the cricket world- IPL stands on dubious grounds.
According to the BCCI treasurer Arun Dhumal, BCCI is not in a position to take any call on IPL as there is no clarity from the government and when the lockdown ends. He also said that it will be premature to say anything now.
Speaking to the PTI, Dhumal said, “Right now, the picture is very hazy. We don’t even know when the lockdown will end and if we don’t know, how can we even have a meaningful discussion. Once we get clarity from the government, we can then sit and take fresh stock of the situation. Any speculation about its future will be premature.”
“Everyone wants IPL to happen but let’s have some clarity first,” Dhumal added.
“We office-bearers are in constant touch. It’s not just IPL but there is a huge amount of pending administrative work, legal issues that need to be studied. But there was no conference call scheduled today as there is nothing to discuss till current situation persists,” Dhumal said.
Dhumal also pointed out some constraints about IPL to be scheduled in September or October. As overseas players are an important part of the IPL, it will be important to see how their countries and board react to the condition in the future.
“Tell me one thing. Firstly, if Australia is under lockdown for six months, how can we conclude that they will allow their players to travel from next month right away? What if the travel restrictions for its citizens are still in place. How will they come to India then? And don’t forget that other boards also need to agree,” Dhumal said.
Dhumal also raised the concern about sportsperson health and fitness, as they can go directly to the tournament without training for months.
“Secondly, even if the lockdown ends in India, what if some of the major cities still have those COVID ‘hotspots’? Can we risk the lives of our sportspersons? Thirdly, the players are likely to go without training for months,” he added.
“Even if we are in a position to conduct a tournament, for international players, we need to give them a bare minimum time to do full-fledged training before we can start a tournament. All these factors can only be clear when we are in a position to discuss,” Dhumal said.