With chances of an Indian Premier League (IPL) season 2020 being staged looking bleak due to the rapid spread of the coronavirus pandemic, former England captain Kevin Pietersen has come out with a new idea which he feels will not only make the league happen but also finish it within a maximum of 3-4 weeks. IPL 2020 was initially scheduled to start on March 29 but was deferred to April 15 after the government cancelled all existing visas of foreign nationals and barred anyone from entering the country. But with the pandemic cases increasing in the country the chances of IPL 2020 taking place is looking increasingly bleak. Pietersen, however, found a way the cash-rich franchise T20 tournament could be held. IPL 2020 Fate Still Hanging Amid Coronavirus Crisis, Franchises and BCCI to Hold a Meeting After April 14 2020.
Pietersen was speaking on a Star Sports show where he mentioned the possibility of a shortened IPL taking place. The 39-year-old even mentioned that the IPL could be scheduled to start in July/August and its commencement should kick-start the cricket season. Pietersen was speaking alongside former cricketers-turned-commentators Scott Styris and Sanjay Manjrekar. IPL 2020: In Constant Touch With Foreign Boards, Says BCCI Official.
“Let’s say July/August is the earliest, I do truly believe the IPL should happen. I do believe it is the kick-start to the cricket season. I think every single player around the world is desperate to play the IPL,” Pietersen said on the show. The IPL had been postponed to April 15 to prevent the COVID-19 virus from spreading. Pietersen, however, suggested that the BCCI could identify three neutral venues which are far from the hotspot areas and the tournament could be held there in empty stadiums.
"There could be a way in which to get some money into the franchises, into the economy by having a situation where you (IPL) use maybe three venues which are completely closed to fans and the players can still go out and play the tournament in three weeks or in four weeks,” added the former England batsman. Pietersen represented Royal Challengers Bangalore, Delhi Daredevils and Rising Pune Supergiants in the IPL.
"So it's a more condensed tournament in three venues, which we know are safe, which we know are secure," he said. "I don't think the fans need to be risked in this situation. I think the fans need to understand they can't watch a live game at the moment and they might not be able to watch a live game for the foreseeable future. [But] what would you guys give right now, to watch Mumbai Indians v Chennai Super Kings right now?"
Manjrekar too was of a similar opinion. The former Indian international said that the IPL was a source of livelihood to not only the cricketers but many others and could kick-start the fally economy. It will help many people get back on their feet after the COVID-19 health crisis.
“The moment we get clearances from all the authorities that matter, the IPL should happen, only because it will kick start the economy because when you talk about the IPL it’s not just about the Mumbai Indians, or a Dhoni or a Virat Kohli, there are a lot of people who are making their livelihood through the IPL," Manjrekar added.