Indian Premier League 2020 has become a big headache for BCCI due to the outbreak of Coronavirus. After the extension of lockdown in the country, the chances of the cash-rich league going ahead in the ongoing year are quite slim. But, BCCI has not lost its hope and are trying the best possible way and finding the best possible time to organize the 13th edition of the tournament.
Meanwhile, the cricket board will have to go through some big obstacles like tournament window, availability of overseas players and many more. Most preferably they will have to wait until the situation comes under control with no possible life threat to the lives of players.
It is well-known that BCCI will leave no stone unturned in order to go ahead with IPL 2020 as soon as possible. However, this might force them to tinker the tournament a bit.
So, here are some alternatives that BCCI might choose to conduct IPL 2020 successfully:
1. IPL can be organized overseas
The fate of the 13th season of the IPL is under the cloud of uncertainty at this moment amid Coronavirus outbreak. In India, the virus is getting spread at a high rate. So, BCCI might look to organize it in an overseas nation that is least affected by the novel virus. Since the cash-rich league came into existence, this is the first occasion when the tournament is on the verge of getting cancel.
BCCI might suffer major loss if the IPL 2020 got cancelled. So, they have the option to organize the cash-rich league in the neighbouring country like Sri Lanka or Bangladesh. In that case, the tournament can be organized in its usual way like it was held in its previous seasons. The biggest advantage will be that the players will get to play in front of a packed stadium.
Interestingly, the players will get an opportunity to play the IPL 2020 without any life threats. As per the reports, Sri Lanka has also shared their proposal with BCCI for organizing the tournament in their country in the global crisis.
2. Organizing IPL behind closed doors
If BCCI gets the appropriate window for the tournament in the latter part of the year then they can even organize the tournament behind the closed doors as well. This will help in reducing any threats to spectators lives from the life-threatening virus.
Here organizing a tournament behind closed doors means that no spectators will be allowed to attend the game. Only the players will set the stage on fire with their performances in IPL. Meanwhile, the fans, who are also reckoned as the heart of the league will be limited to watch the cash-rich league on their television.
This will not affect the format of IPL by any means. It will be played based on its regular model of double round-robin league and playoffs. All the teams will then lock horns twice in the tournament in their home and away games followed by the eliminator, two qualifiers and finals like it is held every year.
3. Single round-robin format
IPL usually follows double round-robin league as per that one team plays two games against one opponent (one home and one away game). But, this year due to COVID-19 outbreak, the chances are quite high that the BCCI might not get a bigger window to go as per their regular model.
So, this time the cricket board can opt for single round-robins league instead of the double round-robin format. This will immediately shorten the length of the tournament. In that case, a particular side will lock horns once with every team in the league stage of the tournament.
In the end, the top four teams will qualify into the playoffs stage. Afterwards, the top two teams in the league table will come face to face in Qualifier 1. The winner of that match will directly progress into the final.
And, the losing side will get another chance in Qualifier 2 against the winner of the eliminator that will be played between the 3rd and 4th ranked teams of the league table. Finally, the winner of the second qualifier will get to lock horns with the winner of the first qualifier in the finals for the prestigious trophy.
4. Pool and Playoffs format
BCCI can opt for a new and innovative approach in IPL 2020 in order to give it a new dimension. They can opt for a pool and play-off format which is never used in the history of Indian Premier League. It will also increase the competition level between the eight franchises.
In the pool and play-off format, the eight teams will be divided into two groups that will comprise of four sides each. At the beginning of the tournament, the teams will battle within their group and each team will be scheduled to play the twice against the other three teams in the pool stage.
At the end of the group stage, the top two teams from both the groups will progress into the play-off stage of the IPL. In the play-off’s, the number one team of group A will lock horns with number two team of group B.
Meanwhile, the number two team of Group A will come face to face against number one team of Group B. And, the winner of both the games will lock horns in the final for the IPL trophy. In the meantime, the losing sides of the playoffs will battle for the third position of the tournament.
5. Table topper to be the winner
The other new way that IPL 2020 can go-ahead with an all-out battle between the eight franchises without any provision for qualifier 1, qualifier 2, eliminator and finals. This type of format is tried and tested that can certainly raise the benchmark of the tournament.
EPL, the biggest football league in the world follows the same format in the year-long tournament. The same procedure can be followed in IPL 2020. In that case, each side will face other seven teams twice throughout the tournament– one home game and one away game.
The points system will remain the same and the winning side will be awarded two points whereas the losing side will not get any credit. It is known that there are eight teams in the tournament. So, each team will get to play 14 games and the side ending up as the league toppers will be nominated as the champions of IPL in its 13th edition.
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