Rajasthan Royals majority owner Manoj Badale is confident this year's Indian Premier League will go ahead, even if shortened.
The start of the 2020 IPL has been moved from 29 March to 15 April as a preventative measure against the coronavirus pandemic. The tournament might be subjected to more delays.
“The IPL pales into insignificance in terms of things we should be really be thinking about right now,” Badale told the BBC Worldservice.
“We have a number of calls as owners with the Board of Control for Cricket in India to talk about what those plans might be, but it is clearly going to be postponed and it is unclear at this stage whether or not it takes place later this year.
“The cricket calendar is so packed. There are very few gaps especially for a seven-week tournament, so I suspect even if a gap can be found, it would have to be a shorter tournament.
“And the uniqueness of the IPL is it gets the very, very best around the world so it is not just a collaboration between the BCCI, the owners and the Indian government, you need the collaboration of the other cricket boards as well. Because what makes the IPL special is the presence of not just the Virat Kohlis and the MS Dhonis, but also the Ben Stokeses and the David Warners and the Jos Butlers.”
IPL players from abroad
The participation of Sunrisers Hyderabad captain Warner, Rajasthan duo Buttler and Stokes and other stars from abroad might be limited by visa restrictions. The IPL was played in South Africa in 2009 and the United Arab Emirates in 2014.
“If it was a choice of no IPL or a domestic player-only IPL I would choose the latter. I think we will have some form of tournament this year. It will probably be a shortened tournament. As long as people are prepared to be creative and as long as boards are prepared to work together collaboratively, the IPL is hugely important to the game of cricket. It is not just of importance to the Indians that the IPL takes place,” added Badale.
“It is important for the whole game. It is important economically for some of the best players in the world. It is economically meaningful for the event organisers and for the broadcasters that participate.”