Could IPL 2020 be played behind closed doors?
Sport is nothing without fans, which makes the prospect of the IPL 2020 cricket season being played behind closed doors all the more miserable.
The outbreak of coronavirus, or COVID-9, from China has caused the sporting world to suffer on a huge scale. All of the top competitions are under threat, and the IPL is no different. The latest guidance is that the season will now begin on April 15 – more than two weeks later than its original starting date.
The reality is that there is no guarantee the IPL will start on April 15. We’re dealing with a virus which has blocked everything from spiritual pilgrimages to international flights. In the grand scheme of things, it’s easy to see why the IPL has been suspended.
But even if it does get going again on April 15, what kind of impact will there be from playing behind closed doors?
Let’s start by getting the negatives out of the way. The atmosphere will be non-existent. Whether you’re an avid fan who goes to every game, or you prefer to cheer on the Mumbai Indians from home, you’ll know that the IPL is full of passion. It just won’t be the same watching the batsman whack it out for six and hearing dead silence from the stands.
From a fan’s perspective, not having the chance to see the players up close may rob them of the experience they desire. Fans and players don’t need to speak to one another in order to share a connection, and shutting the doors to the stadium does take away a lot of what makes the IPL special.
But there are positives here, too. Firstly, playing the 2020 IPL season behind closed doors will help stop the spread of coronavirus. That’s something we can all celebrate. After all, the idea of thousands of fans hugging and cheering their team to victory is surely not the most practical approach to stopping the spread of COVID-19. Good health always comes first.
As well as that, we get our IPL back. Sure, it won’t be what we’re used to. But any cricket is better than no cricket…right?
If you’re a fan of betting on cricket, there may also be another angle which entices you. At the moment, we’re dealing with a lot of ‘what ifs’ – we don’t know when the season will resume, where it will be played, or which players will be available.
And neither do the bookies.
If the season gets back underway behind closed doors, results won’t be as predictable as usual. Some players won’t cope with the lack of crowds. Some players might not even be available! And, if teams have to travel a great distance to play, they could begin to suffer from mental and physical fatigue.
Take full advantage of the situation by betting logically – even if that means going against the traditional favourites. Check out the best IPL match predictions to give yourself a head-start over the competition.
A recent meeting held by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) saw some innovative ideas to get the IPL up and running again. This included the possibility of reducing the number of games played, or playing more games per day. Only playing at a few venues was another idea that came up. Of all the options, the IPL 2020 season being played behind closed doors looks pretty likely to us – so use the opportunity to make the most of it with some clever wagers.