From shutting down of schools and offices to cancellation of IPL 2020, the past few weeks have witnessed the coronavirus impacting the livelihoods of people in the country. The outbreak has left a dreadful impact on the country’s economy and IPL 2020 also found itself at the receiving end of this pandemic. On Friday, 13th March, BCCI decided to postpone the Magnus event until 15th April. With all major sporting events and cricket tours getting delayed for an indefinite period, the onus was on BCCI on taking a tough call on IPL 2020.
Sourav Ganguly, the BCCI president, and other team owners have been vocal enough regarding the safety of players, officials, and fans if the event happens this year. They do not want to jeopardize the health of people by conducting the games amid the coronavirus outbreak, which has stifled the entire nation. However, Sourav Ganguly has made it very clear to the public that even if the event happens, this year, it will be a truncated one. Now that the tournament has been pushed by 17 days, a 60-day event will not be feasible considering the international calendar is already out, and overseas player availability will be the biggest challenge. And with international matches and series being already postponed, respective boards would like to reschedule those matches in any possible window that is available.
So, let’s look at some critical factors that are associated with IPL 2020 if it’s canceled or rescheduled in the near future –
Loss of Money
Nonetheless, to say that the stakes are quite high when it comes to IPL. Since its inception in 2008, the IPL has been a money-minting factory for a lot of people. Be it a player, sponsor, team owners, advertising companies, fantasy sports websites, fantasy cricket leagues – a lot is riding on IPL in terms of monetary remuneration. No matches means no audience inside or outside the stadium. All the brands that planned on utilizing this time to launch great offers or products will have to sit down and replan all their marketing from scratch. Broadcasters who make the maximum money by selling advertising space this time of the year are also incurring huge losses. With no matches happening in the world, Fantasy sports apps are also facing hard times. However, the amount of damage cannot be determined, but everyone involved is undoubtedly going to take the hit. Even if the tournament is a truncated one, officials and players will be paid pro-rata. fantasy sports
Over the years, IPL has got numerous employment opportunities for people in the country. From ground staff to cheerleaders to event organizers, a lot of livelihoods have already been affected by this outbreak. People who used to work in the background and were responsible for the smooth conduct of the tournament used to look forward to this 60-day event for their yearly household income. Surely, they are the ones who have been hit severely by the delay and maybe impacted more if the event is canceled. fantasy cricket leagues
Dress Rehearsal before the T20 world cup
Not only for Indian selectors but for other cricket boards, IPL has been the benchmark for selection criteria. Thanks to IPL, a lot of domestic players have been fast-tracked to their respective national teams and made a name for themselves. In short, IPL has been a breeding ground for a lot of domestic players. And with the T20 world cup scheduled for this year, IPL would have been the ideal preparation that every player was looking forward to. Selectors would also have kept a close look at the performance of the players before selecting the team for the world cup.
ICC window not available post-June
IPL has gained so much popularity amongst players and a few cricket boards that ICC was forced to create a window for the same. With most of the IPL season getting wrapped up by the last week of May, ICC scheduled its global tournaments and bilateral series from June every year. Going by this, if IPL 2020 is rescheduled for a full 60-day event, the availability of foreign players will be a challenge, and cricket boards might be at loggerheads. Historically, a few players went ahead with their IPL teams over their country’s international assignment. To avoid such a situation in the future, a truncated IPL might make more sense.
A truncated IPL with lesser games or eight teams split into two groups are some of the options that have been doing the rounds post the announcement by the BCCI. It is there to be seen which option do the BCCI opts for or if the biggest T20 festival gets canceled for this year. Currently, amid the outbreak, the latter option looks more prominent. Not only it will be disappointing for the players around the world but fantasy cricket fans who wait for the entire year to be a part of the biggest fantasy cricket league will be utterly disappointed.
But, for the time being, the safety of people is of primary concern for the BCCI.