BCCI treasurer Arun Dhumal has said the the Indian Premier League is not just about entertainment, but also about economics given the number of lives that depend on it.
Dhumal said holding the IPL 2020 will 'lift the mood' of the country during the COVID-19 pandemic. He added that the BCCI would find it difficult to sustain cricketing activities in the country without the tournament.
"Yes, it will lift the mood of the country, for sure," Dhumal told Indian Express. "Some people say that BCCI is just bothered about IPL for the money involved and criticise us, but no one is taking time out to understand the economics part of it. It’s not just about entertainment – it’s about the business it gets and the employment it generates across many sectors. It will boost the economy in many sectors which are dependent on our tournaments. And obviously if IPL happens, player safety would be paramount.
"If IPL doesn’t happen, then it will be difficult to sustain cricketing activities. That is the biggest revenue head for BCCI. It’s because of IPL and cricket that we are able to hold 2000 domestic matches every year. It directly impacts lives of every cricketer from domestic to juniors, to officials."
Dhumal called for a quick decision on the ICC T20 World Cup 2020, the fate of which hangs in the balance. An ICC board met on June 10 and pushed the decision on the tournament to a further date.
"If Australia hosts the T20 World Cup this year, we won’t mind playing it obviously but if it isn’t happening, everyone should be informed soon so that we can make other plans," he said.
"It’s not only about BCCI in this current situation, world cricket has to come together to meet this challenge. There is no point in delaying the issue, we need to discuss and decide things immediately so that we can have a roadmap for the future.
"If the World Cup isn’t happening, then all cricket boards will have a window available and they can take a call whether they want to have a bilateral series or something else to make up for the revenue loss they have incurred. It is not a question of just IPL, at least one can plan better. Not just us, everyone."
While IPL governing council chairman Brijesh Patel had said BCCI has earmarked a September-October window for the tournament, Dhumal stressed the board doesn't yet have a clarity on the window.
"If conditions are right and there is healthy atmosphere, we will play. It’s hard to say now what will be the situation then. What’s the medical status, how many cases in our country, and so on. At the moment, there is no clarity about the window," he said.