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What the Indian T20 league postponement means

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The indefinite postponement of the Indian T20 League comes as no surprise at this time, given the situation across the globe right now. The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) had postponed the league until April 15 owing to the global virus pandemic and the whole country going into lockdown.

With the quarantine now extended to May 3, the BCCI have called off the idea of playing the 13th edition of the league in the summer and will look for another window to stage the event.

However, this postponement, and possible cancellation altogether, could mean a lot to specific parties. 

The BCCI and Star

The BCCI might be the richest board in the world but a possible cancellation of the Indian T20 League's 13th edition could set the cricketing body back over Rs 3800 crore.

First, there’s the loss of Rs 3269.50 crore for Star India, which bought the rights in 2018. Then there’s the five-year title sponsorship deal the BCCI had struck up with phone company VIVO for a whopping Rs 2,000 crore, which means a loss of Rs 400 crore in 2020 if the Indian T20 League stands cancelled. Finally, the central sponsorship amount of Rs 200 crore will also go down the drain.

The veterans

If the Indian T20 League does not take place before September, which seems very unlikely at this point, it will be a huge setback for several players who are in the twilight of their career, and none more so than AB de Villiers and MS Dhoni.

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Both players are looking to make a comeback to the national fold and the Indian T20 League was deemed a possible opportunity for them to get back to peak fitness and form. If the league stands cancelled, it is very likely that we have seen the last of two extraordinary cricketers on the international stage. 

The fresh, raw (and lucky) talent 

With the Indian T20 League auction playing out as a lucky draw quite often, when things go awry or plans unravel, franchises start to panic buy. As a result, some young, unheralded players get deals of a lifetime.

For some of those small players who were bought for big bucks this season in the auction, an Indian T20 League cancellation would be heartbreaking. The players all go back into the pool ahead of the 2021 season and if this year's edition is cancelled, we are likely to have players who miss out on a deal and an Indian T20 League appearance just because the season was cancelled. 

The overseas stars

Not a lot of cricketing boards are rich. The BCCI, Cricket Australia and England Cricket Board are the richest in the world while the others are basically just surviving under the Big Three. However, among those three, the BCCI, and subsequently, the Indian T20 League is so massive that even for players from Australia and England, the Indian T20 League is a huge deal.

Read | ICC T20 World Cup 2020 likely to be postponed by two years

According to Indian T20 League's financial terms and arrangements with a player, 15 per cent of the player fee is paid in advance, 65 per cent during the tournament and the remaining 20 per cent within a specified time after the tournament.

If the matches don't happen, the players don't get their dues and will have to suffer massive setbacks financially.

Feature image courtesy: AFP / Dibyangshu Sarkar

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