The dangerous coronavirus pandemic has been affecting not only people but also the domestic and global sports industry, including Twenty20 cricket Indian Premier League (IPL) that is scheduled to begin on 29 March.
However, the ministry of external affairs on Thursday said that the decision is on hold, Maharashtra health minister Rajesh Tope earlier revealed that the IPL should postpone or limit the number of matches to TV audiences only.
According to sports industry experts, the cash-rich tournament - IPL, where international players are a big attraction, is at risk of taking a financial hit of nearly ₹10,000 crores. This includes gate receipts, sponsorship and media rights, franchise revenue and players fees as well as hospitality and travel-related costs too. However, the decision will be taken by BCCI (Board of Control for Cricket in India), the organizer of the tournament.
“Around 35% of IPL talent (players) and production crew comes from other countries. With the new visa curbs, their entry might get restricted until they get work visas. All the safety and execution related concerns are valid as there are multiple stakeholders involved with obvious cost implications," said Vinit Karnik, business head, ESP Properties, GroupM.
Currently, an India are taking on South Africa in a three-match series which is also being played in an empty stadium and only TV audience can see, as per a government advisory.
On the other hand, for the very first time, Australia versus New Zealand game has also been played in front of zero crowds. While the players’ participation in the Asia XI versus World XI at stake, Cricket Australia cancelled their tour to South Africa where the women’s team were supposed to play three One Day International matches and as many Twenty20 International matches as well.
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