Coronavirus outbreak: 5 reasons why IPL should have been cancelled and not postponed
Here we take a look at five reasons as to why the tournament should have been cancelled or at least suspended.
Following the ever-growing global concern about the threat of coronavirus, the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2020 has been pushed back to April 15. The decision to postpone the annual cricket tournament, which was scheduled to start on March 29, was taken by the BCCI on Friday in the wake of the advice given by various arms of the Indian government.
The cash-rich league now joins a host of high-profile sporting events which have been affected by COVID-19 (novel coronavirus), a respiratory illness that was declared as a pandemic by the World Health Organistion (WHO) this week.
However, given the speed at which coronavirus is spreading its impact, is it the right decision to postpone the IPL? Here we take a look at five reasons as to why the tournament should have been cancelled or at least suspended.
#5 IPL is a domestic, annual tournament
First of all, the IPL is a domestic tournament which is held annually. Cricketers take part from all countries, they play for their respective franchises and go back to donning their nation’s jerseys.
Mostly, the IPL is a mode of entertainment that comes around every year. Indeed, several people would lose an opportunity to earn, several people will go through losses. But then again, even if it were to be cancelled this year, the IPL can easily return next year in a bigger way!
#4 International calendar being affected
International cricket (Representational image) (Source: Brittanica)
The IPL is held during the break in the international calendar, that is, when international cricket has entered it’s off season and none of the nations are involved in any kind of matches or series. This allows players from all countries to come and take part in the tournament which spans almost two months.
Initially, the IPL was supposed to finish on May 17. Now, with the IPL being pushed back 15 days, it won’t wrap up before June. But West Indies, England, New Zealand, Australia, among other countries have prior engagements in early June which means the cricketers have to leave early. Won’t that take off some sheen from the IPL?
#3 Foreigners coming in from outside
David Warner (Source: IPL)
With the outbreak rapidly escalating across the globe, the government of Indian has placed severe travel restrictions for people traveling in as well out of India. If foreigners are allowed, there is always the risk of them contracting the virus. Reportedly, David Warner has not been granted a visa for the IPL.
However, the IPL has never been organised without foreigners. In the absence of any international stars, it’s just another domestic T20 league like the Syed Mustaq Ali trophy. It loses significance.
#2 Take cue from other international tournaments
Champions League matches has been suspended (Source: Goal.com)
The country has already witnessed its first death in a 76-year-old man, the Indian government has issued several instructions in public interest — the situation is serious.
Look at the number of tournaments/matches being suspended/cancelled globally. Champions League matches, Serie A matches are being suspended, important badminton tournaments are being cancelled and there is a question mark on even the Tokyo Olympics 2020. Taking cue, the BCCI should have prioritised public health and cancelled the tournament.
#1 Public Health
People are concerned about the growing cases of the coronavirus victims(Source: Reuters)
All things aside, this is the most vital point that needs to be highlighted. The whole wide world is grappling with the COVID-19 pandemic, the outbreak began in China and has since infected more than 124,000 people across more than 110 countries and territories around the world. More than 4,500 people worldwide have died.
As the second most populated country in the world, the question that needs to be asked is that, can it handle the outbreak? Some experts say India — a country of more than 1.3 billion people — likely has many more cases than the conservative numbers currently being reported.
How much should we be concerned? In this country, if there is any cricket, even in local lanes, people gather around to watch. Can we risk the health of the public just for the sake of IPL?