The Indian Premier League is likely to get called off as the coronavirus crisis worsens across the globe.
The Indian Express reported that franchises and the Indian cricket board are not very hopeful of hosting this year's edition as their window of opportunity has started to close.
According to the report, the T20 tournament can't be extended indefinitely, like football leagues, and must be completed before the beginning of June. Given the prevailing conditions, even a truncated tournament seems unlikely.
“And even if it [virus outbreak] settles down here but continues in some other country… we are not clear about that also. Japan, the host nation of the Olympics, is talking about a possible postponement. This is far bigger than any sport or the IPL,” and Indian cricket official was quoted as saying.
In case the tournament gets called off, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and the franchises stand to take a big monetary hit with no provision of any compensation.
The Indian cricket board was already facing financial pressure by the beginning of the year. It initiated a series of cost-cutting measures, including cutting IPL prize money for the winners and runners-up by half.
Also, the BCCI decided to do away with the extravagant ceremony. Restrictions were also put in place regarding business-class travel of its employees.