The Covid 19 health crisis is dominating the news on a global scale. Nobody can fail to have seen how the number of people affected by the virus in India has grown. This is obviously an issue that has a much wider impact than simply affecting the sports world.
However, at a time when the normal routines of life are changing so much, Indian cricket fans still want to know what is happening with the sport that they love. This situation has changed rapidly in the last few weeks, especially now that there is a three-week lockdown in the country. So, how is the cricket world dealing with these issues and what can fans expect?
International matches and the health of players
Even before the lockdown, India’s International cricket matches were impacted by the Covid 19 crisis. For instance, the India v South Africa ODI series was played without a crowd in attendance.
There may also be an impact on the players themselves. Like anyone else, they can test positive for Covid 19. If you are a fan of cricket in the country, you can check online where you can see an updated list of players that are affected by the virus.
Outside of the issues regarding international matches, and the health of individual players, arguably the biggest discussion point about cricket and Covid 19 in India is what is happening with the IPL.
Potential cancellation of the IPL
Currently, it seems likely that the IPL will be cancelled, following the decision to implement the lockdown in the country. Initially, the tournament was postponed until April 15, in the hope that the situation regarding the virus would improve.
However, any significant improvement in the near future now seems unlikely. This fact has put considerable pressure on the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to cancel the IPL altogether.
No official announcement has been made yet, about the hosting of the IPL this year. However, other major sporting events have already been postponed. For instance, UEFA has postponed Euro 2020 until the summer of 2021, the 2020 Copa America has been moved to 2021 and the Tokyo Olympics have also been postponed until next year. Given this prevailing trend, to postpone major sporting events, it seems highly likely that the IPL will go the same way. The 2020 tournament seems likely to be cancelled, with the 2021 tournament proceeding as usual.
After all, even in the unlikely event that the Covid 19 situation starts to improve quickly, foreign players who are due to take part in the IPL may be unable to travel. This would make it very difficult for the tournament to go ahead.
There are obviously major issues with cancelling the IPL tournament for 2019. The major implications are financial. Sponsors, teams and advertisers will be hit hard. Of course, fans will also suffer as they will not have access to one of the biggest cricket tournaments in the world. Stakeholders in the IPL will come together to discuss how the impact of cancelling the tournament can be minimised as much as possible.
Currently, there does not seem to be any easing of the Covid 19 crisis. Countries all over the world are going into lockdown in an attempt to slow down the spread of the virus. In these circumstances, it seems likely that the BCCI will be forced to make the decision to cancel the IPL for 2020. This should help to make next year’s event more special than ever.