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Indian government to decide the fate of IPL 2020 not the BCCI: Kiren Rijiju

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Mumbai Indians celebrate with IPL 2017 trophy. (Photo: IANS)

The COVID-19 outbreak has left IPL 2020 in a lurch. The much-awaited tournament was set to start from March 29. However, after being postponed to April 15, the cash-rich league was subsequently postponed further to an indefinite period in the wake of coronavirus pandemic. In such rare circumstances, the tournament’s possibility is currently at stake due to the ongoing lockdown.

So far, many reports about the tournament’s commencement have been surfaced across the internet. Some reports have also suggested that the IPL 2020 might be hosted behind closed doors in the T20 World Cup 2020 window. However, the commencement of the tournament is solely dependent on the containment of the novel coronavirus.

Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju, while highlighting the current situation, said that the IPL would go ahead only if there was no risk to public health. Rijiju asserted that any decision to allow the IPL 2020 to commence this year would be taken by the government, not the Indian cricket board.

‘We can’t put the health of the nation at risk’: Kiren Rijiju

Rijiju also said that the main focus at the moment is to fight against COVID-19 outbreak. “In India, the government has to take a call and it will be depending on the situation of the pandemic, how we progress as a nation,” Rijiju told India Today TV channel.

“We can’t put the health of the nation at risk just because we want sporting events to be held. Our focus is fighting COVID-19,” he added.

Considering the amount of money associated with the IPL, the cancellation of the lucrative league will result in a hefty loss to the BCCI. The IPL is worth almost 530 million USD to the BCCI and hence, the tournament’s cancellation will be a big blow to the richest cricket body.

There’s a strong possibility that the BCCI will try to slot the tournament in October/November if the T20 World Cup in Australia gets pushed further to 2021. However, there’s no concrete news regarding anything as the coronavirus outbreak is increasing with every passing day. So far, India has registered over 1.3 lakh positive cases and 802 individuals have succumbed to death after being infected with COVID-19.

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