Photo: ANI
Photo: ANI

Recently the Indian government extended the pan-India lockdown that was put in place to combat the effects of the novel coronavirus outbreak for the fourth time.

Lockdown 4.0 however comes with several relaxations, including allowing sports complexes and stadia to open without spectators.

This naturally led to speculation as to whether the Indian Premier League would take place after all, and a clarification by Union Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju on Tuesday has only fueled speculation.

"If any sports federation wants to organise a sports event, they can do it in the stadium,"Rijiju said while in conversation with news agency ANI.

He however reiterated the need to follow all SOPs properly before an event could be organised. "All the conduct has to be carried out with certain discipline," the Minister added.

To recap, the IPL, which was supposed to start in March was postponed to April, but then after the rise in the number of cases and suspension of international flights, the BCCI thought it wise to indefinitely postpone the tournament. There has been no official announcement so far regarding a possible new date of commencement.

But while it does sound like an IPL behind closed doors can be a possibility, there are several other factors to consider. For one thing, there are no international or domestic flights operating in India at the moment. Thus, if the IPL commences, no international player can participate in the tournament, as the United Kingdom, South Africa, New Zealand and Australia have indefinitely barred international travel. Travel within India too may pose a major problem.

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