The biggest and best cricket league in the world, the Indian Premier League (IPL), is at risk of being abandoned. This is due to an unprecedented, global catastrophe caused by the coronavirus – also known by the name of its illness, COVID-19.
As unthinkable as it sounds, fans and players alike have been left asking themselves if the 2020 IPL season will be played or abandoned entirely.
We have some good news for you – in an effort to make sense of all this madness, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) got together for a brainstorming session to see how they could salvage our beloved IPL.
The bad news? Well, no firm decision was reached – and on top of that, the solutions they proposed were far from perfect.
As you’ll already know, the IPL’s start date has been pushed back from March 29th to April 15th. But the real question is: what happens next?
We don’t know for sure – but here are six suggestions the BCCI came up with:
- Games galore
As massive fans of the sport, this sounded like a great idea – if a little impractical. In the event that the season doesn’t get underway until at least April 20th – five days later than the current proposed date – the number of matches will skyrocket, with up to three matches per day on weekends. You’ll definitely need to check out cricketprediction.com to keep up with the rapid flurry of games if this happens!
While it might sound exciting, this option comes with a massive list of potential logistical issues – not least the broadcasting rights.
- Less teams
So, if we can’t squeeze the games in, why not get rid of some? As harsh as it sounds, this is one of the suggestions being considered by the BCCI. That could mean teams only facing each other once – instead of the usual home and away scenario. Or, the league could be split into two groups of four which would mean a total of 28 games (if you count the playoffs).
- Boost the window
In order to stick to the proposed matches as closely as possible, the league window may be extended. At the moment, it’s tentatively set to end on May 29th. Were this pushed back, it would allow more time to fit in all the games. The latest dates being discussed are May 31st and, leaving a little more wiggle room, June 7th.
- Forget the fans
Fans – who needs ‘em? Not the IPL, according to some BCCI members who are happy for the remaining games to be played behind closed doors, in a move which is likely to go ahead. Sure, it will keep crowds out of the stadiums which should lower the risk of coronavirus being transmitted at games. But there are other issues to consider. Will the teams be able to perform without the fans cheering them on? And will fans simply end up gathering outside of the stadium anyway? Plus, just picture the scene with nobody in the stands…eerie.
- Dismiss the drivers
Loyal coach drivers, cover your ears – 2020 IPL cricket games may be played in just a handful of stadiums. That means a lot less pre-match travel. This will reduce costs and help the BCCI contain the situation, but many fans will be far from happy if their home games suddenly become away games.
- Back-to-back games
Double headers could be on the rise. At the BCCI meeting, proposals were put forth to increase the number of double headers and squeeze in all 60 matches – though exact details have yet to be revealed.