Indian government to decide fate of IPL: Kiren Rijiju
India's Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports Kiren Rijiju, on Sunday, clarified that any decision regarding the commencement of Indian Premier League (IPL) will be taken by the government. He reiterated the fate of India's cash-rich league will depend on how the nation is faring amid coronavirus pandemic. Last month, BCCI postponed the 13th IPL edition indefinitely to contain the spread of virus.
According to the recent reports, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is eyeing the October-November window for staging the IPL. This will only be possible if the impending T20 World Cup gets called off, which is scheduled to commence on October 18. However, Cricket Australia (CA) has refrained from making any official announcement about the tournament.
"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. We can't put health of nation at risk just because we want sporting events to be held," said Rijiju.
A number of cricketers are unhappy with BCCI's decision to hold IPL in place of T20 WC. Notably, BCCI treasurer Arun Dhumal admitted that the cricket board will not push CA for suspending the T20 World Cup. "If the Australia government announces that the tournament will happen and Cricket Australia is confident they can handle it, it will be their call," he had stated.
Kiren Rijiju's recent statement may force BCCI to halt their plans for IPL. While the total number of COVID-19 cases in India is nearing 1,33,000, over 3,900 deaths have been reported from the nation. The overall death toll has crossed 3,44,000.