With the clouds of uncertainty hovering over this year’s IPL, Rajasthan Royals are hopeful that the season won’t be scrapped after all. The tournament was to get underway from March 29 but with the coronavirus pandemic wreaking havoc globally, it has been suspended till April 15 following which a decision may be taken.

Globally, major sporting events have either been cancelled or postponed including the Tokyo Olympics which will now be held in July 2021.

RR co-owner Manoj Badale feels that IPL, though it will be postponed, should go ahead even if it doesn’t involve any overseas players.

“I think we will have some form of tournament this year. It will probably be a shortened tournament,” Badale told BBC 5 Live. “As long as people are prepared to be creative and as long as boards are prepared to work together collaboratively, it [IPL] is hugely important to the game of cricket. It is not just of importance to the Indians that the IPL takes place. If it was a choice of no IPL or a domestic player-only IPL I would choose the latter.”

The financial implications of cancelling the event will be significant so the stakeholders, Badale said, need to find a way to make it happen. “It is important for the whole game. It is [important] economically for some of the best players in the world. It is economically meaningful for the event organisers and for the broadcasters that participate. So the trickle-down effect of a tournament as big as the IPL not taking place in terms of its impact on more than just the players but (also) all the people whose livelihoods depend on it is pretty significant. So we have a responsibility to try and find a way of playing it if we possibly can,” he said.

However, he does feel that the tournament will not happen anytime soon.

“As with the English Premier League, the atmosphere is a huge part of the spectacle, but, again, these are unprecedented times and sport needs to be put in the right perspective overall. If the way of ensuring the cricket economy survives is by playing behind closed doors, so be it,” he said.

He continued, “In India, the COVID phenomenon has only really just landed so when we have our owners’ conference calls, there’s still an expectation that there may be a way of the games being played in June. Personally I can’t see it happening until much later in the year. We have had a number of calls as owners with the BCCI to talk about what those plans might be, but it is clearly going to be postponed and it is unclear at this stage whether or not it takes place later this year.”