England wicketkeeper-batsman Jos Buttler is hoping that the 13th edition of the Indian Premier League will at least be played behind closed doors despite threats of cancellation looming large in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
After their initial reluctance to reschedule it, the BCCI on March 13 had announced the postponement of the IPL 2020 from March 29 to April 15.
However, the Indian governing body’s decision to start the competition from April 15 is unlikely to see the light of the day as the glitzy T20 tournament is staring at a possible cancellation or further delay.
Meanwhile, Buttler has taken an optimistic approach and said, “No news at the moment. We saw, initially, that it was going to be postponed. It’s very hard to see this changing in the immediate future, so I don’t see that as a possibility at the moment.”
“Obviously, it’s such a massive tournament for world cricket, so hopefully some of it can go ahead – perhaps a shortened tournament,” the 29-year-old Rajasthan Royals cricketer was quoted as saying by PTI via a sky sports podcast.
Earlier, England star all-rounder Ben Stokes informed that he was keeping himself busy in training and preparing for the IPL.
“At the moment my next competitive cricket is going to be in the IPL,” Stokes was quoted by IANS via BBC Radio 5 Live.
“I have to get my head around that I am playing even though in the back of my mind I know I am probably not. I have to build up and get myself physically in a position that if it does happen, I am good to go,” he added.
With India in the middle of a 21-day lockdown till April 14 in an attempt to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus, IPL 2020 has been forced to face an existential crisis.
On the day the nationwide lockdown was announced, BCCI president Sourav Ganguly, too, had failed to give clarity on the fate of this year’s cash-rich tournament amid the COVID-19 pandemic which has already affected more than 600 people in India and killed 14.