Sri Lanka have offered to host the 13th edition of the IPL, after the tournament was officially suspended by the BCCI “till further notice” amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
The IPL was originally scheduled to run from March 29 to May 24, but the suspension of all cricket forced the organisers to first postpone it until April 15. With India’s nationwide lockdown extended till at least May 3, the tournament had to be shelved for the time being.
Despite the lack of any clarity over how long it would take for things to return to normal, India’s neighbouring island has offered to host the tournament, with Sri Lanka Cricket’s president Shammi Silva confident that the pandemic would be eradicated from their country before India.
BCCI have suspended IPL 2020 till further notice.https://t.co/wwDsFZ9Lkm
— Wisden India (@WisdenIndia) April 16, 2020
“It looks like Sri Lanka will be clear of the coronavirus before India,” Silva told Reuters. “If so, we can host the tournament here. We will be writing to the Indian cricket board soon.”
Commenting on the fact that tournament organisers might have to bear losses to the tune of “$500 million if IPL 2020 gets cancelled” altogether, Silva told local daily Lankadeepa that Sri Lanka promised adequate facilities for the safety of the players.
“If the Indian board does agree to play the tournament here, we’re ready to provide facilities in line with the requirements and recommendations of medical professionals,” Silva said. “It would be a substantial source of income for Sri Lankan cricket as well.”
In the past, the IPL has been held overseas twice due to general elections in India. The entire 2009 season was held in South Africa, while the first half of the 2014 IPL was played in the UAE.
“If they play it in Sri Lanka, it’s easy for Indian audiences to watch the games on TV,” Silva said. “There’s precedent for this because they’ve played the IPL in South Africa before. We’re waiting for the Indian board to respond to our proposal.”