”No point of having IPL behind closed doors”

New Delhi: The 2020 IPL season was slated to start from March 29 but due to the coronavirus outbreak, it remains suspended till April 15.

The entire nation is currently under a 21-day lockdown which ends on April 14.

However, with there being an upstage in the number of COVID-19 patients with each passing day, it is likely that the lockdown will be extended, meaning that IPL cannot be held in the near future.

“IPL is a big brand. But the board can only take a decision once the situation improves and coronavirus is gone. At the moment, it’s on upstage. So, no one is going to take a risk,” Lal told IANS.

“Once coronavirus is gone, cricket can obviously take place because it’s such a popular sport and is loved by all. Even the players would like to play in front of crowds and that can only happen once the situation fully improves,” he added.

The 69-year-old also insisted that there was no point of having the IPL matches in front of empty stands without any spectators.

“There’s no point in playing IPL matches in front of empty stands. It’s not just about the players and the fans, it’s about other people who are also involved in the process while travelling, organising, broadcasting, etc,” Lal, who was part of the 1983 World Cup-winning team, said.

“Once situation improves, other series will also take place and BCCI can totally recover for the lost time.”

India off-spinner Harbhajan Singh recently said that a lot of lives are on the line and that’s why he won’t mind playing without spectators if the situation demands.

Even Pat Cummins has backed the idea of having a closed-door IPL.

Agency