The 2020 edition of the Indian Premier League has officially been postponed indefinitely, the BCCI confirmed on Thursday.
This decision comes amidst the worsening situation of the coronavirus pandemic, which had earlier prompted the IPL to be delayed to April 15 instead of the original date of commencement on March 29.
"The health and safety of the nation and everyone involved in our great sport remains our top priority and as such, the BCCI along with the Franchise Owners, Broadcaster, Sponsors and all the Stakeholders acknowledge that the IPL 2020 season will only commence when it is safe and appropriate to do so," the BCCI press release signed by honorary secretary Jay Shah stated.
India's government recently extended the lockdown period in the country to May 3 following the exponential increase in the number of COVID-19 infections. More than 400 people have already lost their lives to the virus in India with thousands of people being admitted to hospitals for treatment.
The eight-team tournament was scheduled to kick off with the opening clash between Chennai Super Kings and Mumbai Indians but the prospects of conducting the IPL this year look extremely bleak.
BCCI president Sourav Ganguly had hinted at the possibility of a shortened competition behind closed doors. This proposition seems unlikely to be considered in the current circumstances due to travel restrictions imposed by various countries, which would stop overseas stars from arriving in India for the league.
"BCCI will continue to monitor and review the situation regarding a potential start date in close partnership with all of its stakeholders," the BCCI media release further added.
All international cricket has come to a standstill owing to the virus scare with the fate of the forthcoming T20 World Cup also hanging in uncertainty.