Cricket in India could be hit by huge financial losses if the Indian Premier League (IPL) fails to go ahead due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
BCCI treasurer Arun Dhumal estimates that it could cost the organisation around 40 billion rupees. The IPL is facing cancellation for the first time in its history after its initial start date of Match 29 was postponed due to the coronavirus outbreak. The world’s richest T20 tournament will now have a huge say in how badly hit the BCCI will be.
“We’ll be able to assess it once we know when we’re going to start [the cricket],” said Dhumal to Cricbuzz.
“As of now, every bilateral that we miss, we’ll be losing money. And if we’re not able to organise IPL then that’ll lead to a big hit. Not having an IPL would end up with a revenue loss of about Rs 4000 crore.”
Dhumal also said that playing bilateral series events over ICC events would be preferred because they are more profitable.
“Now every cricket board will be struggling because of the virus. That (bilateral series) adds more money to any cricket board,” he added.
BCCI looking at recovery plans
Dhumal also said the BCCI is currently looking into a host of ideas that could help the sport recover once action is back underway.
“We have many, many thoughts as of now. We need to discuss all of this with counterparts in ECB, CA and all other boards and then we’ll work out a strategy,” he said.
“We haven’t mulled over this idea and this needs to be worked out with the broadcaster also, you have to certainly make compromises if we’re going ahead with two teams. We need to think through this and see what best can be done.”
Speaking on the impact of the lockdown on domestic cricket, Dhumal said BCCI would do everything to get the domestic season started as planned.
“The domestic season was supposed to resume by July-August. Hopefully, that’ll be set. In case it (the break) carries on for some time, that will also get impacted,” he said.
“As of now, the priority is to set right the stadiums and infrastructure because everything is under lockdown. For every sportsman or a cricketer, one season is a big, big thing in his career. We would not want anybody to lose out on that,” he added.