Former India pacer and newly-appointed CAC's member, Madan Lal says any decision on the fate of the 13th edition of the IPL can only be taken by the BCCI when the deadly COVID-19 outbreak is fully contained.
Due to begin on March 29, the IPL 2020 was postponed by the BCCI until at least April 15 in wake of the pandemic. But with the country under an official 21-day lockdown, which is likely to be extended given the number of positive cases are only increasing, it seems the tournament won't be happening at all in the near future.
"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, the 1983 World Cup winner, told IANS.
"Once Coronavirus is gone, cricket can obviously take place because it’s such a popular sport and is loved by all," he added. "Even the players would like to play in front of crowds and that can only happen once the situation fully improves."
Lal stressed upon his point, brushing aside suggestions of the tournament happening behind closed doors whenever safe to do so.
"There’s no point in playing IPL matches in front of empty stands," he said. "It’s not just about the players and the fans, it’s about other people who are also involved in the process while travelling, organising, broadcasting, etc."
"Once the situation improves, other series will also take place and BCCI can totally recover for the lost time."
As is being reported, the BCCI is looking at the October-November window for the annual event to be played. That window, however, will only be available if the ICC decides to postpone the T20 World Cup in Australia where there is a six-month countrywide lockdown in place.
(Inputs from IANS)