The future of the upcoming Indian Premier League (IPL) scheduled to start from March 29 looks gloomier with each passing day amid coronavirus threat. With the epidemic spreading at a rapid pace, the Central Government has cancelled all the visit visa until mid-April which might see the global T20 event taking place without the participation of overseas cricketers. But former Kolkata Knight Riders team director, Joy Bhattacharjya has explained how can they take part in the whole tournament amidst the restriction.
The novel coronavirus has halted many global sporting events. As the numbers say,118 countries have been affected by COVID-19, classified as a respiratory illness. More than 120,000 people have been infected with over 4,300 deaths worldwide. In India so far, 73 people have been infected with no deaths as yet.
The Sports Ministry of India has issued a directive stating that they have cancelled all international tournaments with the Central Government cancelling all the visit visa till April 15 apart from diplomatic, official, UN/International organizations, employment and project. This has taken all the franchise in a surprise with the participation of the overseas cricketers in jeopardy.
However, Joy Bhattacharjya has cleared out the matter in a video released by Cricbuzz that how foreign players could still travel to India and participate in the IPL if it takes place. The former Knight Riders director explained that a work visa issued by the government covers the Indian Premier League and all of the visas held by the overseas cricketers are employment visas.
“Most International players when they play in India get a PAN card because their income is actually taxed in India and they play a certain amount of withholding tax in India. Once a player is signed up, two letters go from here [India],” Bhattacharjya said.
“So, assume 15-16 Australian players are coming to India, so the Indian High Commission in Australia will get one letter from the IPL stating that the following players have been signed up for the IPL and [we] please request them to make their work visa. Then a specific letter will also go from the franchise saying that this player, with this fee, has been signed for so and so and we want him. So, two letters go and therefore, all IPL Visas are employment visas,” he added.
The IPL Governing Council is scheduled to meet on March 14 to discuss the fate of the tournament, which was to feature several overseas players arriving from and through different parts of the globe that have been affected by the pandemic.
IPL 2020 is slated to commence from March 29 with defending champions Mumbai Indians locking horns with Chennai Super Kings at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai.