New Delhi, April 10: Former IPL chairman Rajeev Shukla has confirmed that hosting IPL 2020 - which the fans, as well as the players, are waiting with bated breaths - in the month of April won't be possible.
The Indian Premier League (IPL) 2020 was scheduled to begin on April 15 after the tournament was deferred from March 29 due to the novel coronavirus pandemic which has brought the world to a standstill.
The entire nation is currently under a 21-day lockdown which ends on April 14. However, with the spike in the number of COVID-19 patients with every passing day, it is likely that the lockdown will be extended, meaning that IPL cannot be held in the near future.
"I don't see any preparation, our priority is to fight coronavirus and save people. See it will all depend on the government what decision they will take. We will go by the government decision. We are hearing that lockdown may extend in this situation if you think IPL can happen by April 15 so it seems not possible," Shukla told ANI.
Another major hiccup in hosting the IPL in April will be the availability of international players. Due to the ongoing Visa restrictions because of the global pandemic, it won't be possible for the overseas players to procure the necessary permit to arrive in India.
Earlier in the day, former India cricketer Madan Lal said any decision on the fate of the IPL 13 can be taken only once the situation improves completely.
"IPL is a big brand. But the board can only take a decision once the situation improves and coronavirus is gone. At the moment, it's on upstage. So, no one is going to take a risk," Lal told IANS.
"Once coronavirus is gone, cricket can obviously take place because it's such a popular sport and is loved by all. Even the players would like to play in front of crowds and that can only happen once the situation fully improves," he added.
The 69-year-old also insisted that there was no point of having the IPL matches in front of empty stands without any spectators.