CHENNAI: With the Tamil Nadu government extending the lockdown to April 30 as a measure to contain the coronavirus outbreak, the Tamil Nadu Cricket Association (TNCA) is mulling postponement of the fifth edition of its flagship T20 tournament. The Tamil Nadu Premier League (TNPL), played between eight teams, was scheduled to be conducted from June 10 to July 12 in four venues.
However, with the situation in the state worsening — the number of patients tested positive has crossed the 1000-mark — it is learnt that the call on when to hold the tournament will be taken in May depending on the government’s decision on extending the lockdown further.
“We still don’t know if there will be a partial lockdown or not in May. We have to wait and watch. Maybe the tournament will be postponed by two-three weeks depending on the lockdown. If everything opens by May, then we will be on schedule. But even if there is a partial lockdown, we will be forced to postpone the TNPL by a few weeks,” said sources monitoring developments.
With the TNPL having a window till September 15, the chances of cancelling it are less at the moment, according to the source. “The infrastructure is almost ready. It is early to say about other things. We still don’t know what the government’s stance will be in May. But chances of the tournament getting called off are minimal.” In the worst-case scenario, the organisers are also willing to stage the tournament behind closed doors.
The TNPL has had former international players such as Brad Hogg, Dean Jones and Scott Styris as commentators in previous editions. A decision on the commentators will be taken later in May. That apart, the TNCA had previously extended the tender deadline for title rights for the 2020 edition. The last date to buy the tender application was April 10 and consequently, the last date of submission was extended to April 15. Due to the prevailing situation in the state, it is understood that it might be extended further.