BCCI Treasurer Arun Dhumal has stated that the BCCI is keeping the option of having crowds for the latter stages of the Indian Premier League open but that will depend on the situation. An official has revealed that crowd has been barred to avoid any untoward incidents ahead of the T20 World Cup.
As the BCCI decided to move for a cluster-caravan format to accommodate the 14th edition of the Indian Premier League, to minimize the travels and not letting any team travel more than three times, it seemed like things would streamline as far as crowds were concerned. Sourav Ganguly's optimistic statement ahead of the Pink Ball Test rose expectations but later, the BCCI, following the PSL debacle, decided not to take any risk and barred the crowd from watching the IPL matches from the stadium.
"The fixtures of the tournament have been mapped in a way that every team will travel only three times during the league stage, thus reducing commute and minimising risk. The VIVO IPL this year at home will be played behind closed doors to begin with and a call on allowing spectators will be taken at a later stage of the tournament," BCCI had said in a statement.
Now, Arun Dhumal has repeated the same sentiment and clarified that the BCCI has kept the option of having crowds back for the latter stages of the IPL, depending on the situation.
"The initial phase of the Indian Premier League (IPL) was without crowds only, it was already decided," said Dhumal while speaking to IANS.
Asked if there are chances of any crowds in the later stages of the tournament, he said, "It will depend on the situation".
The tournament will kick-start in Chennai and Mumbai for the first phase of the tournament while the action for the next batch of league games 16 in number will be held in Ahmedabad and Delhi. The last league phase matches will be played in Bengaluru and Kolkata before the caravan moves to Ahmedabad once again for the playoff matches.
"India is due to host the T20 World Cup later this year. There is a lot at stake. Anything untoward now, even if a few cases crop up, it can have an impact on the tournament. It can create some problems," said an official in the know of things, reported IANS.