The impact of coronavirus outbreak in India has pushed back the Indian T20 League to two weeks from the initial proposed date, March 29, meaning that the tournament will now begin on April 15 when most of the foreign players will be available.
"The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has decided to suspend IPL 2020 till 15th April 2020, as a precautionary measure against the ongoing Novel Corona Virus (COVID-19) situation," read an official statement from BCCI.
"The BCCI is concerned and sensitive about all its stakeholders, and public health in general, and it is taking all necessary steps to ensure that, all people related to IPL including fans have a safe cricketing experience."
The decision was taken by the BCCI president Sourav Ganguly and secretary Jay Shah in the presence of the IPL management. The message was communicated to the teams by the management on Friday, saying that they would meet the owners on Saturday in person in Mumbai to discuss the decision further.
🚨Announcement🚨: #VIVOIPL suspended till 15th April 2020 as a precautionary measure against the ongoing Novel Corona Virus (COVID-19) situation.— IndianPremierLeague (@IPL) March 13, 2020
More details ➡️ https://t.co/hR0R2HTgGg pic.twitter.com/azpqMPYtoL
It is being reported that the proposal of postponing the tournament from March 29 to April 15 was put down by the franchises itself so that the tournament can be played with a full-fledged line-up. On Thursday, March 12, a freshly issued visa restriction by the Indian government confirmed that no foreign player would be made available for the Indian Premier League before April 15.
“Even if they allow players, they can’t relax other guidelines. Foreign players will be quarantined for two weeks. If it starts on March 29 as scheduled, seems only Indian players will be available, as of now,” a BCCI official said.
In case of postponement, the number of double-headers are likely to increase given that the tournament will only be played in April and May as there are no other windows available.
Feature image courtesy: AFP / Noah Seelam