IPL 2020 likely as India approves closed door sport events

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On Sunday, the Indian government relaxed restrictions on sporting events, allowing them to resume behind closed doors in the country, and as far as cricket is concerned, it means the IPL could take place in 2020.

The BCCI welcomed the government’s decision, but said it was premature to think about the IPL at this point. The IPL, though, can take place subject to travel restrictions being eased and a window being found for the tournament, which the BCCI postponed indefinitely in April due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

While extending the countrywide lockdown by a further two weeks until May 31, in a directive listing activities that would continue to be prohibited or allowed, the Indian government said: “Sports complexes and stadia will be permitted to open; however, spectators will not be allowed.”

To further emphasise the point that gatherings of all kind would not be allowed, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) said: “All social/political/sports/entertainment/academic/culturual/religious functions/other gatherings and large congregations” will continue to remain prohibited.

All domestic and international air travel – “except for domestic medical services, domestic air ambulance and for security purposes or purposes as permitted by MHA” – also remains prohibited.

Arun Dhumal, the BCCI treasurer, said that for cricket activities to resume, travel restrictions within the country would need to be eased. “Taking into the account the restrictions on air travel and movement of people till May 31, the BCCI will wait further before organising a skill-based training camp for its contracted players,” Dhumal said in a media statement issued by BCCI. “The board reiterates that the safety and well-being of its athletes and support staff is paramount and will not rush into any decision that can hamper or jeopardise India’s efforts in containing the spread of the virus.” (ESPNCricinfo)

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