Stadiums and sports complexes will reopen for athletes to train, according to the government's new guidelines for extending the nationwide lockdown to contain the spread of coronavirus. Spectators won’t be allowed still. So, what are the chances of the 13th edition of Indian Premier League (IPL 2020) being be held anytime soon? Will the new guidelines have a bearing?
Even as training is being allowed, the government has listed sports events in the prohibited category, along with domestic and international flights, till May 31. Responding to the new lockdown 4.0 guidelines, BCCI treasurer Arun Kumar Dhumal said: “Taking into the account the restrictions on air travel and movement of people till May 31, the BCCI will wait further before organising a skill-based training camp for its contracted players."
IPL 2020 was scheduled to begin from March 29 but BCCI decided to suspend the cricket extravaganza indefinitely because of the lockdown. Here are possible scenarios for the tournament.
Windows when IPL 2020 could be held
India cricket team is scheduled to tour Sri Lanka for limited over series in July and recently Sri Lanka board has requested BCCI to not cancel the tour. If BCCI doesn’t scrap India’s tour, most likely IPL could not take place in July-August.
India is scheduled to participate in Asia Cup hosted by Pakistan cricket board in UAE. According to various media reports, BCCI wanted to organise IPL 2020 during this window, but PCB protested strongly.
If ICC T20 World Cup is scrapped
The ICC T20 World Cup, scheduled to be held in Australia from October 18 to November 15, is shrouded in uncertainty even as some sporting action has begun with strict guidelines in place.
Given the global threat of coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, many former and current cricketers have called for T20 World Cup postponement. Hosting a big tournament like World Cup, which could see 15 teams competing, is also difficult for Cricket Australia in the current Covid-19 pandemic and when adhering to social distancing norms are must.
The ICC will hold a video conference of its cricket committee on May 28 and it is most likely that world cricket body will take a decision on the fate of ICC T20 World Cup then.
Recently, Australia former captain Mark Taylor has said that T20 World Cup postponement will pave way for BCCI to host lucrative IPL 2020.
"I think that's the most likely scenario (postponement of T20 World Cup) because 15 teams planning to come to Australia between October and November, 45 matches over a proposed seven venues, national travel is going to be extremely difficult in the world we are living in," Taylor told Channel Nine Sports.
"14 days of isolation before that makes it even harder. More than likely that event is not going ahead. So if the ICC decides to postpone the event that will open the door for the BCCI to say that we will have our IPL is India which actually puts the onus back on individuals then rather than nations moving whole teams over to a certain country,” he added.
So, what IPL stars doing during coronavirus
Australia cricketer David Warner has been constantly entertaining his Indian fans by sharing dance videos on social media amid the ongoing lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic.
On May 12, Warner posted yet another TikTok video wherein he, his wife Candice and daughter, were seen shaking their legs to a popular Telegu song 'Ramuloo Ramulaa' from the movie 'Ala Vaikunthapurramuloo'. His Instagram post read: "He and she are back again. Thoughts? What's the song?"
This is not the first time, Warner showed his dance moves to the world. Earlier, the couple had swayed to the hook steps of the song 'Butta Bomma' performed by Allu Arjun and Pooja Hegde in the same movie 'Ala Vaikunthapurramuloo'.
"It's tiktok time buttabomma get out of your comfort zone people lol Candice Warner," the Australian opener had captioned the video.
Before that, he was seen grooving to the tunes of poplular Bollywood number 'Shiela Ki Jawani' alongwith his daughter.
Pat Cummins on IPL 2020
The most expensive foreign player in the history of the tournament, Pat Cummins has been missing the marquee event and the Australian spearhead expressed his desire to see the tournament going ahead as soon as possible on May 10.
During the IPL 2020 auction, Cummins was bought by Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) for Rs 15.5 crore
"I am missing seeing a few of my mates. I hope to go down to the local pub and have a few beers with them once all this is over and watch some footie (football). But all you fans out there, just hang in tight. We are all missing the IPL really badly. Hopefully, once things are better, it will happen soon," the official website of KKR quoted Cummins.
"The players, and management and coach - we are messaging each other regularly and doing everything we can to stay fit. We are all absolutely pumped for it. Once it happens, it will be a great spectacle. See you all soon," he added.