The IPL Conundrum
The 13th edition of the Indian Premier League which was supposed to start from 29 th March was postponed indefinitely for the first time due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. With the brand value of over $6.7 billion, IPL has been the biggest platform for the young cricketers to make a name for themselves. With the road ‘almost’ clear, the tentative window for IPL is identified from September 26 to November 8.
WHAT’s at STAKE? The cancellation of the cash rich league will incur a huge loss of around Rs. 4000 crore to BCCI in the form of revenue. IPL also contributes more than Rs. 11.5 billion to India’s GDP. The host broadcaster Star India will lose Rs. 3269 crore. Each franchise will lose about Rs.100 crore. IPL alone guarantees $100M in players’ salaries annually. The other cricket boards also earns 10 percent fee from their players’ salaries.
Image Source: Twitter @ICC
The ICC angle: While the Australian cricket board had already cited their inability to host this year’s T20 World Cup, the ICC after conducting two meetings is yet to take the final call on the global event. Speculations rife that the ICC Chairman Shashank Manohar(in above pic) who has already given a hard time to BCCI in the past is deliberately dragging his feet on the issue to make things tough for BCCI to plan the IPL and due to the upcoming ICC Chairman elections.
Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB): PCB has reportedly agreed to give Sri Lanka the hosting rights for Asia Cup 2020 which is going to take place in September-October window. The final decision on the matter is expected once the fate of the T20 WC is decided. PCB has already declared that the Asia Cup will not be replaced by IPL 2020 while the BCCI is clear that there won’t be truncated IPL due to the Asia Cup.
Despite ICC’s indecision on T20 WC, BCCI President Sourav Ganguly has already asked the Indian state boards to prepare for the IPL. It’s highly likely that one or two stadiums will host the IPL matches behind closed doors. With the COVID-19 situation worsening in India, Emirates Cricket Board expressing interest in hosting and the presence of three stadiums in close proximity makes UAE the BEST option for BCCI to conduct IPL. The first half of the IPL was held in UAE due to the general elections in 2014. The hospitality is rated very well and time difference between India and UAE is negligible. The Sri Lankan Board also has given proposal to the BCCI to host IPL.
Obviously above all, the players’ safety will be the utmost priority for BCCI. This year’s IPL will definitely be less glamourous because of the empty stadiums but as BCCI Treasurer Arun Dhumal rightly says,”IPL is not just about entertainment, it’s also about the business”.