Manoj Badale, the majority owner at Rajasthan Royals, reckons that there will be a truncated version of the 13th season of the Indian Premier League and the prospects of it happening is increasing. IPL
IPL 2020 was scheduled to begin from March 29 at the Wankhede Stadium but coronavirus concerns had urged the BCCI to postpone the tournament until April 15. However, following Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s call for a 21-day lockdown in India, IPL 2020 seems highly unlikely.
But Badale is hopeful of some form of IPL this year even if it has to do with only the Indian players.
Talking to BBC Worldservice last weekend, Badale said that IPL “pales into insignificance in terms of things we should be really be thinking about right now,” but admitted that all the eight franchises have been in touch with BCCI.
“We have a number of calls as owners with the BCCI to talk about what those plans might be, but it is clearly going to be postponed and it is unclear at this stage whether or not it takes place later this year,” he said.
Reports have emerged that BCCI is looking for a separate window for IPL 2020 later this year, somewhere between October and November.
“The cricket calendar is so packed. There are very few gaps especially for a seven-week tournament, so I suspect even if a gap can be found, it would have to be a shorter tournament,” Badale said.
“And the uniqueness of the IPL is it gets the very, very best around the world so it is not just a collaboration between the BCCI, the owners and the Indian government, you need the collaboration of the other cricket boards as well. Because what makes the IPL special is the presence of not just the Kohlis and the Dhonis, but also the Stokeses and the Warners and the Butlers.”
“I think we will have some form of the tournament this year. It will probably be a shortened tournament,” Badale added. “As long as people are prepared to be creative and as long as boards are prepared to work together collaboratively, it [IPL] is hugely important to the game of cricket. It is not just of importance to the Indians that the IPL takes place.
“It is important for the whole game. It is [important] economically for some of the best players in the world. It is economically meaningful for the event organisers and for the broadcasters that participate. So the trickle down effect of a tournament as big as the IPL not taking place in terms of its impact on more than just the players but (also) all the people whose livelihoods depend on it is pretty significant. So we have a responsibility to try and a find a way of playing it if we possibly can.”
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