Prime Minister Narendra Modi announcing a 21-day lockdown of the country, starting Wednesday (March 25) midnight due to the Coronavirus pandemic, has put the BCCI under enormous pressure to cancel the 13th edition of the Indian Premier League.
The board, at the point of earlier suspending the tournament to until at least April 15, was hoping for the situation to improve, but with that not the case, the IPL 2020 is now under serious danger.
"I can't say anything at the moment," PTI quoted board president Sourav Ganguly as saying. "We are at the same place where we were on the day we postponed. Nothing has changed in the last 10 days. So, I don't have an answer to it. Status quo remains."
IPL franchise Kings XI Punjab's (KXIP) co-owner Ness Wadia was more forthright, though, reiterating that in the given circumstances it is highly unlikely that the tournament will be happening anytime soon.
"The BCCI should really consider postponing the IPL now. As a premier event, we need to act with great responsibility. Contemplation of IPL is inhumane right now," Wadia told PTI.
"Lets say even if the situation improves by May and I hope it does, who is going to come and play? Will the (foreign players) be even allowed to enter the country?"
The conference call between the board and all IPL franchises scheduled for Tuesday got deferred as the number of COVID-19 positive cases in the nation continue to rise.
"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 was quoted as saying.
If the annual event is indeed cancelled, all stakeholders face major financial damages.
"With 21-day lockdown, it is virtually impossible that things will return to normalcy by April 14," a BCCI veteran said. "It might improve but a lot of restrictions will be in place. So it will be foolish not to cancel the league."
(Inputs from PTI)