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IPL 2020 postponed further as Indian government extends Covid-19 lockdown to May 3

With the Indian government extending the lockdown to combat the spread of the novel coronavirus, the IPL 2020 will miss the April-May deadline as it has been postponed further.

he Indian Premier League (IPL) 2020 has been postponed further after Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday announced that the lockdown in the country to battle the spread of the novel coronavirus is extended until May 3.

There is no clarity at the moment surrounding the future of IPL 2020. The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) will review the situation only after May 3 when the government comes up with further guidelines regarding the Covid-19 crisis, board sources have said.

IPL 2020, which was scheduled to start on March 29, was initially suspended until April 15. The Indian government had announced an initial 21-day lockdown as the Covid-19 pandemic brought normal lives to a grinding halt across the globe.

IPL 2020 is thus all set to miss the April-May window in the cramped cricket calendar which has been marked for the cash-rich T20 tournament ever since its incepetion in 2008.

The Covid-19 pandemic has led to a global health crisis, with more than 19,21,000 people infected by the novel coronavirus across the globe. As of April 14, more than 10,000 people have been infected by the virus that has led to more than 330 deaths in India.

Earlier, BCCI president Sourav Ganguly had hinted at a further postponement of the cash-rich league.

“Practically speaking, when life has come to a standstill everywhere in the world, where does sport have a future in this,” Ganguly had told the New Indian Express.

“We keep monitoring developments. At the present moment, we can’t say anything. And what is there to say anyway? Airports are shut, people are stuck at home, offices are locked down, nobody can go anywhere. And it seems this is how it’s going to be till the middle of May.”

Speculations were rife that the BCCI was eyeing the October-November window in which the T20 World Cup is scheduled to be held, given the doubts surrounding the global T20 tournament.

However, BCCI treasurer Arun Dhumal rubbished the speculations, saying it’s “too premature” to comment on the October-November window for IPL 2020.

“Everyone wants IPL to happen but let’s have some clarity first,” Dhumal told the Press Trust of India.

“Tell me one thing. Firstly, if Australia is under lockdown for six months, how can we conclude that they will allow their players to travel from next month right away? What if the travel restrictions for its citizens are still in place. How will they come to India then? And don’t forget that other boards also need to agree.

“Even if we are in a position to conduct a tournament, for international players, we need to give them a bare minimum time to do full-fledged training before we can start a tournament. All these factors can only be clear when we are in a position to discuss.”

The Covid-19 outbreak has also brought the sporting world to a halt and has not even spared the Olympic Games that were scheduled to begin from July 24 but now have been postponed to 2021.

The Euro 2020 has also been postponed until 2021 while the Champions League and Europa League finals have also been suspended. Formula One, NBA season, French Open 2020, Premier League are among major sporting events that have also been impacted due to the pandemic.