Exclusive: No preparation, no talks; IPL unlikely till end of April

As India braces for an unprecedented 21-day full lockdown imposed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi from midnight on March 24 to curb the outbreak of Covid-19, the longer term of its largest sporting carnival and arguably world cricket’s largest league – The Indian Premier League – appears to be like bleak.

The 13th version of IPL, which was initially scheduled to start on March 29 this 12 months, was earlier postponed till April 15 after the Indian authorities’s resolution to not grant visas till the identical time interval put the international gamers’ participation in jeopardy. But as issues stand now, a begin after April 15 can also be extremely unlikely.

“We are not even discussing IPL right now. It will be premature to say anything but hosting the IPL this year looks a bit difficult,” a prime franchise official informed Hindustan Times.

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Even if the nation-wide lockdown is lifted after April 14 and visas are granted to international cricketers a day after, it would take round 12-14 days for the grounds to be prepared for internet hosting a event as massive as IPL.

Due to the already present lockdowns imposed by the respective state governments from the third week of March, most of the associations had closed operations with solely the highest officers performing on a ‘work-form-home foundation.

“All IPL related work was stopped in mid-March. Only the construction of VIP boxes was underway when this coronavirus pandemic forced us to go on a work-from-home. We were already told not to hold IPL-related work till April 15,” mentioned a Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA) official aware of the event.

Delhi was the primary to announce a ban on IPL amid coronavirus outbreak which meant all of the IPL-related work on the Arun Jaitely Stadium together with the pitch preparation crash landed even earlier than retreating.

“The IMGR (Delhi Capitals) guys came here last week and they were told about the developments. Even they looked less hopeful of the IPL taking place this year. Generally it takes about two weeks for the pitch and construction work to complete before every IPL that means till the end of April it is highly unlikely,” the official added.

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Much like DDCA, different prime associations just like the Mumbai Cricket Association, Cricket Association Bengal had additionally applied work-from-home for all its workplace bearers from the third week of March. The election of govt committee within the Karnataka State Cricket Association slated to happen on March 21 was additionally postponed till April 4, giving clear indications that IPL was removed from anybody’s minds.

There had been stories of holding the IPL later in July-August however BCCI president Sourav Ganguly on Tuesday made it clear that no such dialogue concerning altering the already present FTP had taken place with different cricket boards almost about IPL.

“Nothing has changed in the last 10 days. So, I don’t have an answer to it. You can’t plan anything. The FTP is scheduled. It’s there and you can’t change the FTP. All around the world, cricket and more so sports has stopped,” Ganguly informed PTI.

The BCCI and all its stakeholders are set to incur large monetary losses if the present situation doesn’t enhance anytime quickly and finally drive the cancelation of IPL for the primary time since its inception in 2008.

“I am not sure whether you can get insurance money. Because this is a government lockdown. I am not sure whether a government lockdown is covered by insurance or not,” Ganguly added.

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