The Board of Control for Cricket in India is looking at a small window in July to host the 2020 season of the Indian Premier League, according to a report in CNBC-TV18.
The 13th edition of the IPL is currently suspended until April 15 and the chances of the competition resuming after that date are next to none with India struggling to contain the Covid-19 outbreak.
The Indian board wants to avoid cancellation of the event as it would lead to huge losses for its stakeholders. But with very few windows open in the international calendar, it is becoming increasingly difficult for BCCI.
“The board is looking at an alternate window to host matches, possibly in July, or latest during winter,” a BCCI official told CNBC-TV18 on condition of anonymity.
If the IPL happens in July, it could well have to be played behind closed doors but that is the last resort for BCCI according to the official.
With India’s coronavirus case count inching towards the 7000 mark, the Indian government is likely to extend the 21-day nationwide lockdown that ends on April 15. Thus, the chances of playing the IPL in its usual window appear to be slim.
“If the lockdown is extended, it would be difficult to have a full-fledged IPL in the current window till the beginning of June,” said another senior BCCI official.
Star India who are the official broadcasters of the competition are likely to face a massive hit if the IPL is cancelled. The TV network paid Rs 16,347 crore in 2018 for five years.
“The financial impact will be very heavy if the IPL is not played this year, but we don’t yet know how much would that be,” said a Chennai Super Kings official.
The IPL was scheduled to start on March 29 with the final to be held in the final week of May.