MHA guidelines on sports stadiums gives BCCI’s hope to stage IPL 2020

Written by Abhishek Patil

The Ministry of Home Affairs allowed the opening of sports complexes and stadiums in the fourth phase of the country-wide lockdown, giving respite to athletes in terms of their preparations for whatever events they are practising for. The announcement also made cricket fans wonder as to if the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) will chart out a plan for the sport’s restart, especially with regards to the Indian Premier League.

“Sports complexes and stadia will be permitted to open; however, spectators will not be allowed,” the MHA advisory stated on Sunday as India entered Lockdown 4.0 from May 18 to 31.

While the Indian board has certainly got the nod to conduct events behind closed doors, we try to narrow down as to what the BCCI really needs in order to organise the IPL 2020.

For the IPL to take place, it is important that both domestic and international travel restrictions are lifted. For now, most states in India have their borders sealed while flight operations have remained suspended. Internationally, there’s no scope of flights going in and out of the country anytime soon which makes it difficult for the BCCI to invite foreign players as well as assemble the Indian players that are present in different parts of the country.

“See, the IPL at the moment is not possible because travel restrictions are still there. So how can you have the IPL without any travel happening? We are studying these guidelines and we will study state governments’ guidelines also. Accordingly, we will plan,” BCCI treasurer Arun Dhumal told The Indian Express.

Since the players have only been working individually inside their home gyms, physically no one is expected to be in shape and preparedness to hit the ground running. India’s limited-overs vice-captain Rohit Sharma had earlier asserted that there would be a need for intense training for 2-3 months before the lost touch is established again.

In this regard, the opening of sports complexes and stadiums could help the BCCI bring its players back on a more intense training regime keeping future events in mind.

“We should get more time for batting. I was already injured and returned to Mumbai even before you came. I was injured in February and I have not caught a bat since then. I’m guessing it will take two to three months to play. Need to focus on batting skills,” Rohit had told Mohammed Shami during an Instagram Live session.

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Abhishek Patil