Due to the life threatening pandemic named COVID-19 which has been followed by a 21 days lockdown in the country, IPL has been postponed till 15th April and it is highly unlikely that the tournament will start in any near future. The visa restrictions and countries locking down their air space has made it difficult for overseas cricketers to participate in IPL as of now although if the situation improves, they might be allowed to enter the country after proper health checkup and giving them the employment visa.
But if the government doesn’t allow any overseas cricketers to land on Indian soil, then IPL is very much open to play without them, at least the Rajasthan Royals CEO Ranjit Barthakur thinks so.
“We are open to a shortened tournament with only Indian players, at the end of the day it is the Indian Premier League. These are extraordinary times and the BCCI will do the best it can when things improve,” Barthakur was quoted as saying by Hindustan Times.
He also emphasized on the improved quality of Indian cricketers which could make this idea work if or when BCCI thinks of an IPL involving only Indian players. “Earlier we could not think of an Indians-only IPL but now there is enough quality to choose from. It is better to have an Indians-only IPL than not at all. When can we have it? That BCCI decides. And I think that call be taken only post 15th April, he added to support his idea.
It is worth pondering that the idea of playing IPL itself sounds like an extreme one given the current scenario. Over 8,50,000 people across the world have got affected by Corona Virus. India too have reported over 1600 cases with 47 deaths as of now and BCCI along with Indian cricketers are donating money to raise the fund to help the needy people during this unprecedented time of crisis.