Television

BCCI mulls closed-stadium IPL 2020 in July

IPL has been suspended till 15 April

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MUMBAI: The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is contemplating a slew of options to ensure that IPL 2020 is not cancelled. One of the options is to have July as an alternate window.

According to a CNBC-TV18 report, a BCCI official, on the condition of anonymity, has said that the board is looking to host IPL matches possibly in July or latest during winter this year. The option to play closed-stadium tournament will be the last resort to make IPL 2020 happen, says the official.

Amid the COVID-19 lockdown, IPL has been suspended till 15 April, which was scheduled to begin from 29 March. This is the first time in its 11-year-long history that the domestic marquee event was cancelled due to the unprecedented havoc created by the pandemic.

The BCCI is not in favour of cancelling the domestic tournament this year as there are billions of dollars at stake. Estimates are that close to $1.5 billion is riding behind the IPL in terms of advertising, sponsorships and ticket sales.  

The Indian government is also looking at extending the lockdown. The official also mentioned, “It will be difficult to have a full-fledged tournament under the current window till the beginning of June, if the lockdown is extended.”

Global advisors Duff & Phelps estimated a huge loss of at least Rs 1000 crore if IPL gets cancelled due to the pandemic.

The change in the schedule of the IPL may impact the cricket calendar of the year as important cricketing events that are slated for the year are Asia Cup 2020 and International Cricket Council T20 World Cup in August and October, respectively.

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