BCCI President and former Indian captain Sourav Ganguly on Tuesday said the empty roads in his home city Kolkata, owing to a nationwide lockdown to contain the COVID-19pandemic, are the kind of scenes he never thought he would witness in his lifetime.
The outburst led to the postponement of IPL from March 29 to April 15.
Since then, the situation has only worsened.
Reacting to the suspension of the IPL, Ganguly had said that the decision to postpone IPL was made because the safety and well-being of the players, staff and all those involved was the top priority. The election of executive committee in the Karnataka State Cricket Association slated to take place on March 21 was also postponed till April 4, giving clear indications that IPL was far from anyone's minds.
"Never thought would see my city like this. stay safe. this will change soon for the better ...love and affection to all...", Ganguly posted on his Twitter page alongside images of deserted roads.
The world's richest cricket board has not yet pledged any donations to fight the COVID-19 pandemic. "So, I don't have an answer to it. Status quo remains", Ganguly's helplessness was palpable. However, there hasn't been any remarkable change in the situation with positive cases crossing the 500-mark in India, including 10 deaths.
"The BCCI should really consider postponing the IPL now". As a premier event, we need to act with great responsibility.
Even if the nation-wide lockdown is lifted after April 14 and visas are granted to foreign cricketers a day after, it will take around 12-14 days for the grounds to be ready for hosting a tournament as big as IPL.
"BCCI and IPL franchise to have a conference call on coming Tuesday to discuss the process and further way of IPL 2020". However, there is still hope that BCCI will go ahead with the tournament if it is given the green light in the coming weeks.
Amid the ongoing complete lockdown, it is becoming increasingly hard for all the stakeholders to work out an alternate plan.
Currently, each stakeholder is discussing ways to limit the financial damage with insurance companies as well as broadcasters. But they are very careful and are home amid this 21-day lockdown. It might improve but a lot of restrictions will be in place. "So it will be foolish not to cancel the league", a BCCI veteran said.
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