The BCCI should consider postponing the IPL, says Kings XI Punjab’s co-owner Ness Wadia even as BCCI president Sourav Ganguly says ‘status quo remains’.
Following Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s announcement of a 21-day lockdown to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic, pressure has been mounted on the BCCI to cancel this year’s edition of the Indian Premier League.
When the BCCI had postponed the IPL to April 15 earlier this month, it had said hosting the tournament would only come into the picture if the situation around the pandemic improves. However, things have only worsened since then with over 450 cases reported in India.
Speaking to PTI, BCCI president Sourav Ganguly did not have much to say considering the grim scenario.
"I can't say anything at the moment. We are at the same place where we were on the day we postponed. Nothing has changed in the last 10 days. So, I don't have an answer to it. Status quo remains," Ganguly's helplessness was palpable.
Kings XI Punjab owner Ness Wadia was more forthright.
"The BCCI should really consider postponing the IPL now. As a premier event, we need to act with great responsibility. Contemplation of IPL is inhumane right now," KXIP co-owner Wadia told PTI.
"Let’s say even if the situation improves by May, and I hope it does, who is going to come and play? Will the (foreign players) be even allowed to enter the country?" he asked.
Earlier on Tuesday, a con-call that was to take place between BCCI officials and team owners was postponed.
The star-studded eight-team league was originally scheduled to start on March 29 in Mumbai. It seems 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.
"With the 21-day lockdown, it is virtually impossible that things will return to normalcy by April 14. It might improve but a lot of restrictions will be in place. So, it will be foolish not to cancel the league," a BCCI veteran said.