ipl 2020: ‘Take the lead’: IPL gets support from Indian sports fraternity | Cricket News – Times of India

NEW DELHI: The BCCI’s decision to take the 2020 Indian Premier League (IPL) season to the UAE has been greeted with euphoria, especially by the section of fans in India who have been sports-starved. While there have been some voices of dissent questioning the decision, at a time when most of the tournaments across sports, including the T20 World Cup, have been cancelled in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, various sections of the sports fraternity have thrown their weight behind BCCI’s decision, saying that cricket is best placed “to take the lead” for Indian sports.
Last week, the BCCI announced that the 13th edition of the IPL will be held at three venues in the UAE (Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah) from September 19 to November 10 this year. The tournament was originally scheduled to begin on March 29 but was postponed because of the spread of coronavirus.
“When it’s almost established now that we have to live with it (coronavirus), then we also have to learn to play while it’s still out there,” former India boxer Akhil Kumar, who is employed as a DSP with the Haryana Police, told TimesofIndia.com.
“Take it as an experiment in the times of COVID-19. If it is successful, it will benefit other sports as well. It could become an example to follow on how to host events in India.
“Someone has to take the lead. So I am very positive about it,” the 2006 Commonwealth Games gold medallist said. “Plus cricket is capable and self-sufficient as well (to take the lead).”
Dronacharya award-winning badminton coach Vimal Kumar also lauded BCCI’s decision to go ahead with the IPL.
“I really praise the BCCI for taking the decision of going ahead with the cricket league, IPL,” said Vimal, who heads the Prakash Padukone Badminton Academy in Bengaluru.
“Many of the federations also can look at it in a way…how they can revive in their local areas. That will do a lot of good,” he told TimesofIndia.com.
One criticism around taking IPL to the UAE was how it would help the lower-level workers in India, for whom the earnings from the league are very important. They are already hit by the pandemic.
Akhil was pretty forthright in his reply to that question.
“IPL is business. So just like any other business, it’s up to them (the organisers and franchises) who they want to keep and who not,” said Akhil.
The IPL, meanwhile, will also be parting ways with its Chinese title sponsor Vivo, at least for this year. Akhil feels this will send across the message that the organisers are also thinking about the sentiments of the Indian public, large sections of whom have been advocating cutting ties with all Chinese companies, after the recent Galwan valley skirmishes.
“Take this as another positive,” he said.
Akhil concluded by crediting IPL for the “league culture” it introduced to sports in India.
“When IPL came, there was no league culture in India. We only used to talk about European football leagues. At that time, IPL set an example. If IPL hadn’t happened, then nobody would have thought of sports leagues in India, be it any other sport,” said Akhil.

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