NEW DELHI: The Indian Premier League (IPL) could be played behind closed doors as last resort, if that is the only way to save this year’s Twenty20 tournament from falling victim to the coronavirus epidemic, a senior cricket board official said.
The tournament had been scheduled to begin in late March but was indefinitely postponed following the outbreak.
The Indian cricket board (BCCI) stands to lose $525 million in revenue if it cannot stage the 2020 edition of the franchise-based league and BCCI president Sourav Ganguly assured members this week that they were exploring “all possible options”.
“If it can be with spectators, we’d ideally want that,” BCCI treasurer Arun Singh Dhumal said. “But if we have to stage it in empty stadiums and there’s no other choice, we might go for that. We’ll try and work out depending on the situation at that point in time.
“But before anything else, we have to have a window available and a clear-cut directive from the government (to go ahead).”
The pandemic also jeopardises this year’s Twenty20 World Cup with hosts Cricket Australia conceding the tournament’s October-November schedule was under “very high risk”.
The BCCI has said it would consider slotting IPL in that window should the World Cup be postponed.