England all-rounder Ben Stokes has said that he has been preparing for the 13th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) which has been suspended due to the novel coronavirus outbreak. IPL, which was earlier supposed to start from March 29, has been pushed back until April 15. But due to the three-week lockdown, the chances of getting cancelled is high.
"At the moment my next competitive cricket is going to be in the IPL," Stokes told BBC Radio 5 Live. "I have to get my head round that I am playing even though in the back of my mind I know I am probably not. I have to build up and get myself physically in a position that if it does happen, I am good to go.
"I cannot take three weeks off and expect the body to be ready for 20 April because it doesn't work like that. It might happen and if it does, I don't want to be behind," he further added.
On the other hand, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) believes that the IPL can still be played if things gets better by April end and the first game can be played by the first week of May.
While speaking to IANS, a BCCI official said that it is currently very difficult to predict the future of the IPL but the board can still conduct the league like the way the tournament was taken out to South Africa. But for that, the first match needs to be played by the first week of May.
The Sports Ministry has said that the fate of the 13th edition of the IPL can be decided only after the government after April 15, keeping in mind the situation amid the coronavirus outbreak. Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju has also said that it is only the BCCI which will decide everything on cricket.