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How Novak Djokovic's Positive Covid-19 Test Almost Led to IPL 2020 Being Called Off

BCCI Treasurer Arun Dhumal recalled a conversation with board Secretary Jay Shah, whose confidence in getting the tournament underway ensured it wasn't called off.

How Novak Djokovic's Positive Covid-19 Test Almost Led to IPL 2020 Being Called Off

The 2020 edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) was successfully hosted by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), ensuring fans were treated to high-quality cricket action while also ensuring the board were able to navigate any financial difficulties during what has been a challenging year. However, there were many moments when the tournament - which was postponed earlier in the year due to the coronavirus pandemic - when it seemed unlikely to happen at all. One such instance was when Serbian tennis star Novak Djokovic tested positive for Covid-19 after playing a few exhibition matches in Croatia and Serbia.

BCCI Treasurer Arun Dhumal recalled a conversation with board Secretary Jay Shah, whose confidence in getting the tournament underway ensured it wasn't called off.

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"After that report (about Djokovic testing positive) came in, we were in two minds. Many people told us to not go ahead with it (IPL)," Dhumal told The Indian Express.

"What if something happens to a player? The IPL would go on for almost three months. However, Jay said we should go ahead, he was more confident than all of us."

Dhumal further revealed the financial benefits that came about thanks to the IPL taking place this year.

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"The Board managed to cut nearly 35 per cent of the cost as compared to the last IPL. We earned Rs 4,000 crore during the pandemic time. Our TV viewership went about 25 per cent higher, we got the highest-ever opening game (Mumbai Indians versus Chennai Super Kings) viewership.

"Those who doubted us came and thanked us for hosting the IPL. Had this IPL not happened, cricketers would have lost one year."



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