IPL 2020 likely to go behind closed doors; could be a 'TV-only' event, says BCCI official

IPL 2020 likely to go behind closed doors; could be a ‘TV-only’ event, says BCCI official

It has been decided the administrative department along with its leading personalities will meet on Saturday to discuss how to go about the league.

Virat Kohli
Virat Kohli checks MS Dhoni’s thumb. (Photo Source: Twitter)

The Indian Premier League is the richest cricket league in the world and it generates a significant amount for the Indian economy every year. The 13th edition of the tournament is scheduled to begin on March 29. But, before defending champions Mumbai Indians start their campaign against Chennai Super Kings on that day at the Wankhede, there are a lot of speculation running around the turf about the tournament.

Coronavirus and its spreading has been the talk of the town in recent times and has created a medical emergency across the globe. Many countries are putting a restriction on mass public gatherings as such as any sporting event. Now, with the Indian Government having stepped in to take necessary steps to ensure the virus doesn’t spread, there is a threat mulling over the way the league will be played this year.

Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) recently revealed that the ongoing ODI series between India and South Africa will be played behind closed doors. The news has arrived after the health ministry of the Indian Government issued a notice. The notice was meant to stop any sporting event which allows the spectators to indulge in a mass gathering.

India-South Africa ODI series to be conducted behind closed doors

It has been decided the administrative department along with its leading personalities will meet on Saturday to discuss how to go about the league amidst the outbreak of this dangerous virus. The fact the BCCI has sorted to having the India-South Africa series behind closed doors has opened up the possibility that the same could be repeated with the IPL 2020.

“We are keen to start the IPL on time even if it means without crowds”, a senior official of BCCI reported said as quoted by the Times of India. “It could be TV-only as it is a medical emergency and we can do nothing about it”.

In addition to this, there could be new rules for foreign as far as getting visa is concerned. Now, it puts doubts over the participation of several foreign stars such as South Africa’s AB de Villiers or Australia’s David Warner, who will be leading Sunrisers Hyderabad.

‘We want players and fans to be safe’: BCCI official

“We want players and fans to be safe and will take every precaution to carry on with the league in a smooth manner”, the official further said. On top of all this, state governments of Maharastra and Karnataka have mulled over the hosting of the IPL matches in Mumbai and Bengaluru respectively.

If the IPL is eventually conducted behind the closed doors then it could be a great loss for BCCI. With no ticket sales and only TV broadcast, the sponsors could also take a U-Turn on the league. In that situation, BCCI would be far from earning the $11 billion which it was supposed to earn during the 2020 edition of IPL.