Over the past decade, the ‘Indian Premier League’ (IPL) has seen a monstrous growth from an ambitious idea in 2008 to the nation’s favorite summer hobby in the years that followed. It has fans all over the globe and is the pinnacle of all cricket leagues.
Cricket is yet to be a global sport by a long distance. Even today, only a handful of countries play international cricket. But, even with this disadvantage, the IPL has a staggering average salary of 4.33 million USD for its pro-players, which is the second-highest of all global sports leagues. It has contributed 182 million dollars to the GDP of India as of 2015. The net worth of IPL is estimated to be an astonishing 6.7 billion USD in 2019. It is fair to say that IPL has become synonymous with money minting.
It is a threat
So with all that being said, it’s summer again, it’s that time of the year again. Yes, it’s time for IPL. Millions of people are waiting for the start of the IPL. Some teams like the ‘Chennai Super Kings’ have already started their practice for the tournament. The preparations have begun in all fields from stadiums to media. This is when the tragic ‘coronavirus’ hits the news. The whole world began to become standstill. This pandemic made every country treat this as an emergency situation. So the inevitable question looms over the IPL is it really necessary to conduct a sporting tournament when there is a life-threatening virus on the prow
Is IPL happening?
The fears are valid. With the easily spreading virus, it is not ideal to pack 30000 spectators on the ground to watch a cricket match. Apart from the fans- players, officials, support staff, ground staff, media, police, vendors and a lot of other people are also involved. The entire above mentioned have to be put at risk for not just one match but over 50 scheduled matches. In other words, it will be an ideal ‘breeding ground’ for the coronavirus. The Govt. of India and the BCCI have taken this into consideration and have decided to postpone the glamorous league. Some states have even made an open statement that they will not host the IPL in the current circumstances. Mr. Sourav Ganguly, president of BCCI informed the media that IPL will not be happening until April 15.
What is the alternative?
So what does that mean? Surely such an event of sporting and economic importance cannot be called off. There are sources that say calling off the IPL will be the last card that BCCI plays. The alternate ways are of having a truncated IPL, or to play the matches without spectators, or to divide the 8 teams into two groups instead of the traditional round-robin method of home and away games. Some even suggest that the deadline can be moved to accommodate a full version of the IPL. We have to wait and see what solution the BCCI comes up with to tackle this problem. One thing is for sure, for any chances of IPL 2020 to take place; the coronavirus must be taken care of soon. If the current situation prevails, the IPL is certainly not a certainty.