The 13th edition of Indian Premier League (IPL) was supposed to begin on Monday (Mar 29), but due to Coronavirus pandemic, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) was forced to suspend the season until mid-April. It may also get delayed further as the Covid-19 spread is increasing day by day.
However, owners of IPL franchises have discussed the possibility of staging games behind closed doors this year. According to Sportstar, Manoj Badale, one of the co-owners of Rajasthan Royals, revealed if the situation requires to ensure the survival of cricket, then IPL should take place without crowds.
“Both conversations between the owners and the BCCI [Board of Control for Cricket in India], that’s already been discussed,” Badale told BBC 5 live as quoted by Sportsar.
“As with the English Premier League, the atmosphere is a huge part of the spectacle, but, again, these are unprecedented times and sport needs to be put in the right perspective overall. If the way of ensuring the cricket economy survives is by playing behind closed doors, so be it,” added Badale.
The co-owner of Royals believed that the tournament could be held in two months.
“In India, the COVID phenomenon has only really just landed so when we have our owners’ conference calls, and there’s still an expectation that there may be a way of the games being played in June,” Badale added further.
Badale said that the game of cricket is crucial for the economy, and a tournament like IPL is essential for the global economy.
“Fundamentally, to the cricket economy – not just to the Indian cricket economy, but to the global cricket economy – the IPL is incredibly important,” he opined.
“Not just what it means for players, but what it means for the supply chain that a $600m-a-year tournament creates,” concluded Badale.