Rajasthan Royals owner Manoj Badale has dropped the strongest hint yet that the 2020 edition of the IPL will be a shortened tournament. The tournament was initially supposed to begin on 29th March but the Coronavirus pandemic outbreak saw it postponed to 15th April. With the pandemic showing no signs of slowing down across the globe and the number of cases in India rapidly rising, the chances of IPL starting on 15th April seems like a distant dream.
Even Manoj Badale, owner of Rajasthan Royals believes that the chances of the tournament starting on 15th are bleak and chances of a curtailed IPL are increasing by the day. Speaking to BBC, he claimed everything paled in comparison to the grave situation the world found itself in:
“The IPL pales into insignificance in terms of things we should be really be thinking about right now. We have a number of calls as owners with the BCCI to talk about what those plans might be, but it is clearly going to be postponed and it is unclear at this stage whether or not it takes place later this year.”
He also added that finding a seven-week window later in the year for a complete tournament would be a tough ask for the BCCI:
“The cricket calendar is so packed. There are very few gaps especially for a seven-week tournament, so I suspect even if a gap can be found, it would have to be a shorter tournament.”
Badale though concluded on an optimistic note that the IPL would indeed take place sometime later this year:
“I think we will have some form of tournament this year. It will probably be a shortened tournament. As long as people are prepared to be creative and as long as boards are prepared to work together collaboratively, it [IPL] is hugely important to the game of cricket. It is not just of importance to the Indians that the IPL takes place.”