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BCCI Makes The Call: IPL 2020 Postponed Indefinitely

While not official yet, reports suggest the BCCI has finally succumbed, and, in consultation with IPL franchises, agreed to postpone the 2020 season indefinitely. Their future plans and ability to schedule the season later in the year are dependent on the schedule for the ICC World T20 in Australia.
BCCI postponed IPL 2020

BCCI president Sourav Ganguly and secretary Jay Shah were waiting for the government’s directives to make their own decisions about the fate of the 2020 Indian Premier League (IPL 2020).

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) told the Indian Premier League teams that the competition stands ‘postponed indefinitely’ following the extension of  the Covid-19 national lockdown till May 3.

It is clearly impossible now to stage IPL 2020, originally scheduled from March 29 to May 24,  in its designated April-May window. On March 13, the BCCI announced that the league would be postponed till April 15 due to the restrictions placed on the entry of foreigners, which ruled out participation of the international stars.

Although, the Board has not made the postponement official, reports claim that BCCI approached all the stakeholders, including the eight franchises along with the broadcaster, notifying them that the IPL stands postponed and not cancelled. 

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“Yes, the BCCI has intimated us that IPL has been postponed for the time being but they are hopeful of finding a window later this year as and when things normalise,” a franchise official was quoted as saying by the PTI. 

It can be assumed that the BCCI president Sourav Ganguly and secretary Jay Shah were waiting for the government’s directives to make their own decisions about IPL. Ganguly had earlier acknowledged that the odds of the season starting in the near future were very low. He stated that the game cannot be a priority considering the ongoing Covid-19 outbreaks in the country. 

In current circumstances, September and November are the only windows for an IPL this year, provided Cricket Australia and the International Cricket Council (ICC) agree to reschedule the World T20 Down Under. The six-month travel restrictions in Australia end on September 30. If the situation normalises then the World Cup can go ahead as scheduled in October-November. 

The other alternative is to have a shortened IPL in six weeks between September and early October as it is very unlikely for the Asian Cup to proceed keeping in mind current projections in South Asia. The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Ehsan Mani has claimed that the PCB will not agree to Asian Cup cancellation which is scheduled for September in the UAE, just to accommodate the IPL.

India currently has over 10,000 positive coronavirus cases with over 350 recorded deaths.

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