The 13th edition of Indian Premier League has been suspended till further notice due to the coronavirus pandemic and the resulting lockdown in the country, the Board of Control for Cricket in India said on Thursday.
“Due to the evolving global health concerns regarding Covid-19 and lockdown measures implemented by the Government of India to contain the spread of the pandemic, the IPL Governing Council of the BCCI has decided that the IPL 2020 Season will be suspended till further notice,” the board confirmed in a statement.
Reiterating that the health situation is the priority for the stakeholders, the board has said that the IPL 2020 season “will only commence when it is safe and appropriate to do so”.
The statement by secretary Jay Shah said that board “will continue to monitor and review the situation regarding a potential start date in close partnership with all of its stakeholders and will continue to take guidance from the Government of India, State Governments and other State Regulatory bodies.”
The 13th edition IPL was supposed to be held from March 29 to May 24. However, 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 any international participation.
It was earlier reported that the BCCI has reached out to all the stakeholders, including the eight franchises and the broadcasters, to convey that the event stands “postponed and not cancelled”.
India has currently confirmed more than 12,300 positive coronavirus cases. The toll in the country crossed 400. Globally, Covid-19 has infected over 20.62 lakh people and caused over 1.36 lakh deaths, according to the Johns Hopkins University tracker.
Cricketers turned pundits, including England’s Kevin Pietersen, had suggested that the glitzy tournament be shortened from its usual eight-week duration and played behind closed doors.
The league, which began in 2008, is a huge revenue-earner for the BCCI and is estimated to generate more than $11 billion a year for the Indian economy.
The participation of the world’s top cricketers has attracted big money. Chinese mobile phone maker Vivo had put up $330 million to be the league’s top sponsor for 2018-2022.
Australian pace bowler Pat Cummins was to be the most expensive overseas star this year, with Kolkata Knight Riders in December agreeing a $2.17 million fee for his services.
(With AFP inputs)