BCCI CEO Rahul Johri believes the 2020 edition of the IPL can be held with both Indian and international players once the monsoon seasons ends should the Covid-19 situation start to improve.
The IPL was supposed to be held earlier this year but was postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic. Holding the tournament later this year will also depend on whether or not the ICC T20 World Cup is postponed.
“We will be guided by the government guidelines. Our advisory says: IPL is suspended till further notice. We are engaging with various agencies,” Johri said at the TCM Sports Huddle webinar.
“After the current phase of lockdown ends, there is the monsoon. Cricketing activities can start only after monsoon. By then, hopefully things will improve,” he added.
Johri added that while the IPL is something that engages people around the country, it would not be fair to expect the situation to normalise immediately and that any ideas of staging the tournament will be a step-by-step process.
“IPL is one of the greatest engagers. More people watched the IPL last year than those who voted for general elections. For sponsors, cricket is a leader and it will lead the way. The recovery will be sharper than a V-shaped recovery.”
“The flavour of IPL is that best players of the world come and play, and everyone is committed to maintaining that flow. But it will be a step-by-step process. We can’t expect normalisation tomorrow.”
Johri was also quick to caution that holding the IPL later this year, even if the go-ahead is given, will not be an easy thing to pull off in the slightest.
“When flights resume, everyone has to quarantine themselves before playing. We will have to look at how that will impact the schedules, which as it is are tight.
“Imagine you have to factor in 14-day quarantine prior to practice also. So, there are a lot of moving parts. But we are still optimistic. Hopefully, the situation will improve after monsoon, and we will approach it then.”