COVID-19 - IPL update: All options open as BCCI continues to "assess and monitor"
After the official word was already out on Friday for the IPL to be deferred till April 15, not much happy new was expected as the IPL Governing Council met on Saturday to discuss the near future of the league with regard to the worsening outbreak of the Novel coronavirus.
Despite options like a curtailed IPL and other such options were discussed, a final call over nothing was taken. Understandably, the situation is evolving quickly and would have been very premature to decide on anything.
At such a stage, the best modus operandi is to wait and watch and this is what BCCI President Sourav Ganguly said while addressing the media after the meeting, “We will monitor further. Safety is most important and with the current situation with what is going around the world and in India, with government directives, we have even postponed the remaining domestic matches.”
"We met with the owners, to tell them how it can happen and where do we stand at the moment. At the moment, it is just postponed. We will assess the situation," Ganguly said. “It will be reassessed every week. I can’t say at the moment (about any deadline). I has to be worked around. As much as we want to host the IPL, we also need to be careful about the security.”
When asked whether the IPL will see more double headers due to the lost days and whether or not there is any surety about the league kicking off after April 15, Ganguly did not have anything solid to reveal.
Dada only reiterated the media release which said, ""The board will continue to monitor and work closely with the Government of India, state governments and other state regulatory bodies to decide on the future course of action in the best interest of public health. The BCCI and all its stakeholders are committed to providing a safe and healthy environment for everyone involved in our great sport and the nation."
The good thing though was that the meeting was attended by representatives from all the eight franchise including Bollywood superstar Shahrukh Khan and business tycoon Ness Wadia.
Wadia, who was representing the KXIP franchise, echoed the sentiment of the stakeholders, "The meeting was to discuss the possible scenarios. Number one, most importantly, everyone in India and the world must understand, the BCCI, nor the IPL nor Star is here to gain monetary benefit by having the IPL. All the stakeholders, especially the BCCI and owners and Star, feel that it is incorrect to think about even one rupee.
"So we are not interested in money, we are not interested in having any gain from this situation and trying to hold the IPL without a clear understanding of the situation. Having said that, number one is the health and safety of everyone is looked after, Number two, we will follow whatever the government direction is.
"From a third perspective, no one is in a position to say when it's going to start. We will review the situation after two-three weeks and hopefully, by then the cases (of COVID-19) will reduce. We should be clear that the most important thing is health and safety, not [financial] gain at the moment. We are not here to earn money, we are here to serve and protect the people," Wadia said.
It was quite obvious why the meeting couldn't end in anything fruitful. The situation is unfolding right before our eyes, and there are too many variables to decide anything as of now. There is no point in reaching a conclusion now and then having to sidetrack a couple of days later.
It's encouraging though that all the stakeholders are open to all the options including cancellation. Fingers crossed.
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