Should India's Biggest Sporting Extravaganza Transpire Despite The COVID-19 Outbreak?
The entire world has found itself in midst of a deadly pandemic that has brought life to a near standstill. Moreover, it has marred major sporting events across the globe.
The novel Corona virus has affected more than a million people and has claimed more than one lac human lives. It has therefore established itself as the deadliest of diseases in the recent past as a result of which myriad sporting events have been forestalled indefinitely or cancelled entirely in the wake of the rampaging virus.
One such event - the Indian Premier League (IPL), slated to commence on the 29th of March was deferred until at least mid-April with the BCCI having to make a tough call on the feasibility of holding the IPL, taking into consideration the current situation and exploring the various possibilities and avenues to go ahead with the IPL. But the burning question in everyone’s minds is should the IPL really take place, especially when the world has been engulfed by the coronavirus. In my opinion, I truly believe that the IPL should take place this year and kick-start the cricket season-
THE IPL IS A IDEAL PREPARATORY YARDSTICK LEADING TO THE T20 WORLD CUP LATER THIS YEAR!
Men’s cricket showpiece event, the ICC T20 World Cup has been scheduled for late October this year. Cricket Australia(CA), the hosts are optimistic for the event to go ahead as planned. According to me, there can be no better preparatory ground to the World Cup than the IPL, a tournament that features the best cricket players in the world. Not only does it determine a player’s form, but, also resolves various borderline cases, conducive for respective cricket boards to pick their best 15 players for men’s cricket prime event.
A CANCELLED IPL IS A MASSIVE LOSS FOR INDIA’S YOUNG CRICKET ASPIRANTS!
The IPL is not only famous for parading the biggest stars of international cricket, but, also for the immense talent that it unearths. It brings to the forefront, numerous local talents, who have emerged from the obscurity and hustle and bustle to break their way into their respective national sides. It is an ideal grooming ground for ambitious youngsters who get the opportunity to play alongside and interact with some of the biggest names of the gentleman’s game.
Citing prominent examples, the widely acclaimed Indian duo of Hardik Pandya and Jasprit Bumrah stole the limelight with some scintillating performances in the IPL, earning well deserved India caps. Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal, the spin-twins also honed their skills to perfection and went on to represent India and have been extremely successful thus far.
The IPL is a great stepping stone for impassioned young scouts who get an opportunity to showcase their mettle in front of global audiences. The cancellation of the IPL will not only lead them to lose out on fat pay-checks but also an opportunity and an experience to share the dressing room with the biggest stars of international cricket.
EXPLORING THE CIRCUMSTANCES AND AVENUES UNDER WHICH THE IPL COULD BECOME A REALITY.
A full-fledged IPL season which lasts over 2 months is less of a possibility and a curtailed one is an option instead. The same has been discussed by the franchise owners in recent conferences. Also, the implementation of empty stadiums in order to avoid mass gatherings and maintain the void of human connections is another choice which is essential for maintaining players’ safety. A window can be prepared for the rescheduling of the IPL if not for April or early May.
A RECREATIONAL EVENT IN DIFFICULT TIMES OF CRISIS.
The IPL has been enthralling millions of fans around the world and its cancellation will only lead to more monotony at a time when people have been confined to the four walls of their homes. An exciting season of the IPL behind closed doors can be a solution to the monotony that people have been enduring amidst the nationwide lock-down. In a cricket frenzy nation, the players might be devoid of the zest and zeal that spectators bring with them but a spectator-less IPL is an essential step to prioritize the safety of the players and the viewers.
SPORTS WITHOUT AN AUDIENCE IS NOT A BLUEPRINT FOR THE FUTURE BUT ONLY A PRACTICAL STEP IN DISTRESSED TIMES!
To conclude, the fate of the tournament, this year, will only be decided after the denouement of the nationwide lock-down on the 15th of April, with the government issuing fresh advisories keeping in mind the present situation of the country. These are indeed strange times but the main precedence is to stay healthy and ensure the safety of those around us - a valuable objective indeed!