The future of the 13th edition of Indian Premier League is in the hands of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, as per the country's cricket board. The most-awaited cash-rich Twenty20 tournament has been postponed until April 15, which also coincides with the end of India's 21-day nationwide lockdown to restrict the spread of the global pandemic novel coronavirus. Earlier the league was scheduled to begin from March 29 and the tournament opener was about to play between last year’s champion Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings at Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai.
However, Modi will address the nation on Tuesday and it is expected that the extension of the curfew for another two weeks will be there following a recent surge to nearly 10,000 cases with more than 320 deaths so far in the country.
"Right now, the picture is very hazy. We don't even know when the lockdown will end and if we don't know, how can we even have a meaningful discussion," Board of Control for Cricket in India treasurer Arun Dhumal was quoted as saying by Press Trust of India news agency.
He further added, "Once we get a clarity from the government, we can then sit and take fresh stock of the situation. Any speculation about its future will be premature."
However, the BCCI president Sourav Ganguly also gave her views at the weekend, without giving a definitive prediction for the league this year.
"Practically speaking, when life has come to a standstill everywhere in the world, where does sport have a future in this," he shared.
On the other hand, the league is a huge revenue earner for the BCCI and is estimated to generate more than $11 billion a year for the Indian economy as well. Former cricketers including England's Kevin Pietersen have also suggested the eight-team tournament can be played in a shortened format and played behind closed doors.
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