‘Even if there is one coronavirus case, the IPL could be doomed’
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) was caught in a strange dilemma because fear of coronavirus and loss of thousands of crores of rupees. In the end, they have decided not to do any financial harm. So even though it is six months behind, they are going to organize the 13th edition of IPL.
However, due to coronavirus caution, this year’s Indian Premier League (IPL) will be held in the United Arab Emirates instead of India. BCCI has chosen UAE because of its relatively low prevalence in the country. There will be 61 matches of IPL in three venues for a long 53 days.
But no matter how small the coronavirus situation is, cricketers from different countries will come and take part in the IPL. So the organizers do not have the opportunity to be dependent in any way. According to Ness Wadia, owner of Kings XI Punjab, one of the teams participating in the tournament, just one coronavirus attack would be enough to doom the IPL.
“There is much speculation going on. I think it is ridiculous. The only thing we (team owners) know is that the IPL is happening. We are very concerned about the safety of the players and all others involved. Even if there is one case, the IPL could be doomed,”
Wadia told PTI after the owners’ meeting on Wednesday evening.
Meanwhile, Vivo, the main sponsor of the IPL, withdrew this time due to clashes between Indian and Chinese troops at the Ladakh border last June. They will come again in 2022 as sponsors of IPL. As a result, IPL is now without sponsorship. The owner of Punjab, however, is not worried at all.
“I don’t know what the BCCI has decided on title sponsorship. All the team owners had a productive meeting and are on the same page to make IPL a success. We need to support the BCCI and will be meeting again soon,” he said.
Predicting that this year’s IPL will be the best in history, Wadia added, “All the sponsors are going to negotiate hard but I will change by name if it is not the most watched IPL ever. It will be the best ever IPL. You mark my words. Sponsors would be foolish not to be part of IPL this year. It would be a wrong commercial decision on their part to not be a part of the IPL. I truly believe that if I was a sponsor, I would be jump right in.”