The forthcoming season of the Indian Premier League is at stake after the recent outbreak of the Covid-19, novel coronavirus. Initially the tournament was scheduled to begin from March 29 but it was suspended till April 15 after the condition got worse. As per the latest reports, it is said that the team owners might subconsciously prepare for a complete call-off of the whole season of the league.
A team official has confirmed that they have a conference call in which they will decide the possibilities of the tournament. Every sporting event across the globe has been postponed or suspended till further notice due to the outbreak of coronavirus. In fact, theatres, schools, colleges, gym and offices have been shut down due to the same.
A franchise official while talking to IANS, has revealed that they might get to a situation in which they will be forced to call-off the complete season of the Indian Premier League.
“We are having a conference call today in the evening and we will discuss the situation, but just look around. Schools, colleges, malls, theatres have all been closed. In fact, even gyms have closed now after the fresh directive from the health department. So, in such a scenario, it is only obvious that we might get to a situation where the league may have to be called off for a season,” the official said.
On the other hand, another team official stated that there will be monetary losses if the upcoming season is called off. However, at this critical stage, it is imperative to understand that human safety is of utmost importance and nothing beats it.
“See, we will be having basic losses of around Rs 15-20 crore which comes with paying salaries and other things that come with the successful organization of the league. But there are other losses as well like those that come from merchandise sales etc. While tickets and all are insured, these are loses which the franchises will have to bear if the tournament doesn’t happen. But then, we all realise that nothing beats human safety,” the official said.
Meanwhile, franchises have also reportedly made it clear that they don’t want to go ahead with the IPL if the foreign players will not be available. The Indian government has put fresh restrictions on visas till April 15 which restricts any foreigner to travel to India.
However, even if that restriction is lifted by the Union government, the franchise official is concerned whether the foreign boards will allow their respective players to travel in such testing times.
“Rightly pointed, even as we keep talking about getting foreign players their visas, what also needs to be checked is whether the foreign boards will allow their players to come in if and when the government makes an exception for the players. While all boards want the IPL to happen at present, you never know what the call will be at the end of the month. It all depends on whether we see a drastic positive change in the situation,” the official added.
The future of the Indian Premier League looks bleak in the present situation. The Indian board has adopted a watch and wait approach and it would be interesting to note how the things pan out in the coming days.
Written by: Gautam Chauhan