New Zealand Black Caps cricket players may lose out on their major payday as the Indian Premier League (IPL) suspension has been extended until 3 May.
The IPL is the most lucrative cricket league in the world, luring players from around the world with its hefty salaries for competing.
29-year-old New Zealand cricketer Jimmy Neesham was set to mark his debut in the IPL after being picked at the December auction, landing himself an NZ$107,000 and also being the only player to be sold at the auction.
Other Black Caps cricketers who included Lockie Ferguson (Kolkata Knight Riders), Mitchell McClenaghan (Mumbai Indians), Kane Williamson (Sunrisers Hyderabad), Mitchell Santner (Chennai Super Kings) were were called back by their respective clubs with Trent Boult making the only change from Dehli Capitals to Mumbai Indians.
Kane Williamson will be missing out on a hefty NZ$650,000 paycheque as the IPL goes by a ‘no play no pay’ policy’
With Indian Prime Minister Narendra Mod announcing on Tuesday that the lockdown in India will be extended until 3 May as the country continues to curb the spread of COVID-19, the IPL will have to to wait until then to assess the situation before deciding if and when the league can commence.
The IPL was initially scheduled to start on 29 March before being suspended until 15 April, however, due to the recent extension of the lockdown, the league will now be forced to wait until 3 May to come up with a new date.
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) president Sourav Ganguly suggests that even after the lockdown is lifted, it will be quite sometime before the IPL will be able to commence as life will first hae to normalise worldwide as he went on to tell the New Indian Express the following:
“Practically speaking, when life has come to a standstill everywhere in the world, where does sport have a future in this,”
BCCI treasurer Arun Dhumal reiterated this sentiment as went onto tell the Press Trust of India:
“Everyone wants IPL to happen but let’s have some clarity first,”
“Tell me one thing. Firstly, if Australia is under lockdown for six months, how can we conclude that they will allow their players to travel from next month right away? What if the travel restrictions for its citizens are still in place. How will they come to India then? And don’t forget that other boards also need to agree.”
“Even if we are in a position to conduct a tournament, for international players, we need to give them a bare minimum time to do full-fledged training before we can start a tournament. All these factors can only be clear when we are in a position to discuss.”