Indian Premier League team Kings XI co-owner Ness Wadia has said that he “couldn’t even think about the league at this point”, due to the mounting Coronavirus threat, which has already infected more than 500 people in India and led to suspension of the IPL 2020 season till April 15.
The Board of Control for Cricket in India, as reported by InsideSport.co earlier today, has already put off the conference call with the franchise owners for Tuesday indefinitely. The BCCI had instead decided to monitor the COVID-19 situation till March 31.
The glitzy T20 league is staring at a possible cancellation due to the deadly outbreak, which has led to more than 16,000 deaths globally. India, which has reported over 500 cases and nine deaths so far, is in a lockdown till March 31 to contain the pandemic.
Ness Wadia sees no point in discussing the IPL in such a scenario. “…humanity first, everything else comes second. The situation has not improved so there is no point in even talking about it. If IPL doesn’t happen so be it,” Kings XI Punjab co-owner has said.
“There is no point in discussing anything at this point. The whole country is in a lockdown. We have to deal with matters much more important than IPL,” added another franchise official, who did not wish to be named.
The star-studded eight-team league was originally scheduled to start on March 29 in Mumbai but looks set for a cancellation given the current crisis.
“I can’t even think about the IPL at this point. It is irrelevant along with everything else. The only thing thing which is relevant is in what we are living in and it is a world war three situation where we are fighting to help so many people,” Wadia said.
“The government has taken decisive steps. We often criticise the government but for the proactive steps they have taken we should applaud them. A country as big as India has suspended all flights. That is a very massive and positive step,” he added.
However, the BCCI is deferring the announcement hoping against hope for things to improve. “If Olympics can be postponed by a year, IPL is a much smaller entity in that regard. It is becoming increasingly difficult to organise. At this point the government is not even thinking about allowing foreign visas,” a BCCI official in know of things said.
Currently, each stakeholder is discussing ways to limit the financial damage with insurance companies as well as broadcasters. The BCCI had, earlier this month, suspended the league till April 15 after the government cancelled all visas, barring a few categories like diplomatic and employment, till April 15.