As for the first time ever in the history of Indian Premier League, the tournament may be a television only event this time. Speaking on this, BCCI president Sourav Ganguly was very optimistic and said he expects the global T20 event could break several viewership records.
With Sports throughout the World coming to a stand-still due to the ongoing pandemic, Cricket was dried up too. But with the IPL now set to begin on September 19, the audiences would be eager to see their stars back in action.
The much anticipated tournament is now no longer sponsored by VIVO and is undertaken by the Fantasy league company Dream 11. With the preparations of IPL going on in full swing, the testing of 13 members resulting as positive for COVID and also the return of CSK star Suresh Raina has caused some slight worry.
Though none of these have affected the commencement of the league as BCCI have confirmed the tournament will be going ahead as scheduled. Speaking on how the tournament will be affected as a TV only event, BCCI president Sourav Ganguly stated it could increase the viewership drastically as cricket is resuming after a long break and also being held in the festive season.
“Crowds will watch it on television…they (the broadcasters) are actually expecting the highest rating of IPL this season because they believe if (people) don’t turn up in the ground, they will be actually watching on their television sets,”. “There is a positive in everything,” - the former Indian captain said while delivering an online lecture as part of the ‘Symbiosis Golden Jubilee Lecture Series.
He also spoke on how important it was for the IPL to be conducted as it can create a sense of normalcy among the people and community during the pandemic period. He further spoke on how the IPL would go ahead without the audience and was optimistic about having the spectators for at least the second half of the season.
“They are properly tested and allowed to enter the ground. But I think that is going to happen over a period of time,” he added referring to the possibility of IPL’s later matches being opened for fans depending on the COVID-19 situation. “…it is actually an effort to bring life back to normal. This will go on for another five-six months till the vaccine comes and I am sure everything then will be back to normal,” he said.
The IPL 2020 is scheduled to be played from 19 September with the finals scheduled to take place on 8 November. The IPL season this time is the longest in terms of the days played as the tournament is to take place in a span of 53 days.
Cover Credits: OutlookIndia