The possibility of staging IPL on time and in normal, usual conditions has taken a major hit as the health minister of Maharashtra Rajesh Tope has reportedly denied public entry in stadiums to watch IPL matches. Tope while talking to India Today on Wednesday revealed that there are only two viable options in front of IPL authority at the moment. The first one is to postpone the league and the second is to play the matches in empty stadiums as his government is not going to allow the sale of tickets for those matches.
Considering the fact that the novel Corona Virus has affected every part of India with Maharashtra having 7 of the total 60 reported cases in the country, the situation does look a lot more serious than what it was thought weeks before. The Union ministry of health has decided to uphold all the new and the existing visas from 13th March.
It is a precautionary decision which has made it impossible for foreigners to come to India although, the players participating in IPL are given a different visa so there won’t be any question about their availability but it only denotes how seriously this issue is being taken by the Government.
IPL to discuss the future on 14th March
Furthermore, the IPL governing council will sit on 14th March and take a decision on whether to play the tournament in empty stadiums or completely postpone it. Playing the tournament in empty stadiums would still mean BCCI can earn their revenue through TV rights although they’d face a heavy loss without any crowd. There is also an option of completely postponing this season.
Basketball’s premier competition NBA has already been suspended in this season with one of it’s players being reported positive for corona virus. Several other competitions are also in line of getting postponed or completely suspended and there is no clarity over IPL as well.
The 13th season of IPL is scheduled to start on 29th March with finalists of last year Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings locking horns in the season opener.