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IPL 2020: Uncertainty grows around IPL 13 as BCCI cancels conference with teams

IPL 2020: Uncertainty grows around IPL 13 as BCCI cancels conference with teams

Mumbai, March 24: The uncertainty surrounding IPL 2020 grew on Tuesday (March 24) with the BCCI postponing a scheduled conference call with the franchise owners, a platform to discuss the way forward for IPL 13 amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The IPL 2020 is staring at a possible cancellation due to the deadly outbreak, which has led to more than 16,000 deaths globally. India, which has reported over 400 cases and nine deaths so far, is in a lockdown till 31 March to contain the pandemic.

"...humanity first, everything else comes second. The situation has not improved so there is no point in even talking about it. If IPL doesn't happen so be it," Kings XI Punjab co-owner Ness Wadia had said.

"There is no point in discussing anything at this point. The whole country is in a lockdown. We have to deal with matters much more important than IPL," a franchise official was quoted as saying by the PTI.

The star-studded eight-team league was originally scheduled to start on March 29 in Mumbai but looks set for a cancellation given the current crisis. It has already been deferred to April 15.

"I can't even think about the IPL at this point. It is irrelevant along with everything else. The only thing which is relevant is in what we are living in and it is a world war three situation where we are fighting to help so many people," Wadia said.

"The government has taken decisive steps. We often criticise the government but for the proactive steps they have taken we should applaud them. A country as big as India has suspended all flights. That is a very massive and positive step," he added.

However, the BCCI is deferring the announcement hoping against hope for things to improve.

"If Olympics can be postponed by a year, IPL is a much smaller entity in that regard. It is becoming increasingly difficult to organise. At this point the government is not even thinking about allowing foreign visas," a BCCI official added. Currently, each stakeholder is discussing ways to limit the financial damage with insurance companies as well as broadcasters.

The BCCI had, earlier this month, suspended the league till 15 April after the government cancelled all visas, barring a few categories like diplomatic and employment, till 15 April.

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Story first published: Tuesday, March 24, 2020, 13:14 [IST]
Other articles published on Mar 24, 2020