IPL 2020 'highly unlikely' to be staged this year as coronavirus causes lockdown in India

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The chance of staging the glitzy Indian Premier League (IPL) 2020 this year look bleaker than ever as the country, on the orders of their prime minister Narendra Modi, faces a 21-day lockdown, Hindustan Times reported.

According to multiple sources, staging the cash-laden T20 tournament no longer seems to be a realistic option as the coronavirus pandemic has caused a near global lockdown. 

"We are not even discussing IPL right now. It will be premature to say anything but hosting the IPL this year looks a bit difficult," a top franchise official said.

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"All IPL related work was stopped in mid-March. Only the construction of VIP boxes was underway when this coronavirus pandemic forced us to go on a work-from-home. We were already told not to hold IPL-related work till April 15,” said a Delhi and District Cricket Association official. 

In addition, the source added that preparations at Delhi’s Arun Jaitely Stadium were halted following the pandemic, meaning that "it is highly unlikely" to move according to the schedule. 

"The IMGR (Delhi Capitals) guys came here last week and they were told about the developments. Even they looked less hopeful of the IPL taking place this year. Generally it takes about two weeks for the pitch and construction work to complete before every IPL that means till the end of April it is highly unlikely," the official added.

IPL 2020 'highly unlikely' to be staged this year due to coronavirus