The 12th edition of the Indian Premier League is unlikely to be held this year as there is no clear window beyond June and the BCCI is unsure of starting the league immediately after April 15 even if the 21-days lockdown ends on that day, the Hindustan Times reported on Monday.
The paper said the Board of Control for Cricket in India would call off the tournament once the government issues fresh travel and visa restrictions.
The T20 tournament was originally scheduled to start on Saturday but was postponed till April 15 following the coronavirus pandemic and the central government’s decision to impose a 21-day lockdown to stop the spread of the virus.
“There is hardly any window (for postponement). Nothing has been discussed. Nothing has changed from what we decided on March 14 in Mumbai, when we decided to suspend IPL till April 15. We will continue to monitor the situation,” the paper quoted BCCI president Sourav Ganguly as saying.
No logistical work can be done at the venues or otherwise during this lockdown period and there is still no clarity on whether the Indian government will issue visas to foreign players and broadcast officials coming from abroad.
Chennai Super Kings CEO Kasi Vishwanathan hinted as much when he said: “Even if the lockdown ends on April 15, we need to see when the player visas would be issued.”
A total of 62 foreign players are expected to be part of this year’s IPL. Having said that, the Australian government has already imposed a ‘do not travel’ restriction on its citizens and hence a number of players would not be available anyway.
Even if all these restrictions are lifted in the near future, the international calendar is quite packed from June with West Indies, Sri Lanka, England and South Africa playing bilateral series starting from the first week of June. The Indian team is also scheduled to play an ODI and T20 series against Sri Lanka from the fourth week of June.
No mega auction
Meanwhile, The Indian Express reported that in case the IPL is called off this year, there would be no mega auction before the next season and the teams would be allowed to pick players if they wanted.
According to the original plan, the 2021 season was supposed to be preceded by a mega auction with the franchises allowed to retain just a handful of players while all others would have gone into the auction pool.
The last such exercise was held in 2018 in which each franchise was allowed to retain a maximum of three players and was given two Right-to-Match cards.
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