Every year millions of cricket fans in India wait for Indian Premier League matches. However, this year the tournament is under the shadow of COVID-19 spread. IPL is one of the most prestigious events in India. The impact of cancelation or even postponing the event can have a devastating effect on the economy and morale of the state players. As the safety of the fans and players is the top priority, the future of the Indian Premier League 2020 is not looking good.
What is the current situation of COVID-19 in India?
Currently, the whole country is under lockdown till 15th April 2020. There are chances that the lockdown will get extended, and if the authorities decide to lift the lockdown in phases, there is almost no chance that social distancing regulations will be lifted with it. To ensure the virus does not spread on the community level, it is very important that everyone practice social distancing, and it is next to impossible in IPL matches where thousands of fans attend every match.
The number of cases is on the increase despite the lockdown. The Indian Government has asked all the State Governments to ensure all precautions are being taken at every level to slow down the spread of coronavirus. Many states are not interested in hosting IPL matches are they do not want to expose people to the deadly virus. Even people prefer to stay home to save themselves and their family members. Only a handful of service providers are working right now to ensure a smooth supply of essentials across the country.
The situation of some states is going down the hill quickly that includes Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Punjab, and others. Many areas are under strict lockdown, and state governments are trying their level best to keep coronavirus away from the people of their respective states. The hospitals are under immense pressure. Amid such situations, thinking about IPL sounds absurd, but it is up to the organizers how they want to handle it.
Another notable point is that many international players participate in IPL matches. As India has completely shut down the aviation industry and no flights from any other country are allowed to fly in, those players can’t come to India for the matches.
What are organizers going to do?
It is still unclear what organizers want to do. If they want to postpone the matches or cancel them altogether for this year, notably, IPL is scheduled to start this month in Mumbai stadium, and a total of seven matches will be played in Maharashtra that is adversely hit by COVID-19 spread. The state can impose restrictions on BCCI over IPL that will become a big headache for the organizers. Shifting these matches to other stated will attract additional costs that organizers are not in the mood to afford.
As per the report published in telugubulletin.com, the choice is now between the health of the people and entertainment. The chances are health concerns will win this war, and IPL is going to get postponed or may even stand canceled for 2020. Fans can only hope that BCCI will not cancel the matches but decide to postpone them to the second half of the year.