The new IPL season kicks-off with the auction on Thursday. Image Credit: IPL

The Indian Premier League could still go ahead this year, according to former India cricketers Anil Kumble and VVS Laxman, who are hopeful that the 13th edition of the IPL will take place, even if it has to happen in front of empty stands.

The IPL, which was due to start on March 29, is in limbo due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Yes we are hopeful and optimistic that there’s still a possibility if we can cram in the schedule,” ICC Cricket Committee Chairman Anil Kumble said while speaking on Star Sports Cricket Connected show.

“If we are going to have a stadium without spectators, then probably have three or four venues. There’s still a possibility, we are all optimistic,” he added.

The T20 World Cup is slated to take place in Australia in October and November, but due to the coronavirus pandemic the global tournament is most likely to be postponed. And BCCI is looking at a end-September to early-November window for the cash-rich league.

Meanwhile, Laxman said that what can be done is to find a venue in the country which has three or four grounds so as to avoid much travelling, which will be a matter of concern amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Absolutely, and also make sure that all the stakeholders have a say. Anil (Kumble) mentioned that you can have two or four venues, I still feel that you should identify one venue, which probably has three or four grounds; if at all you find that kind of a venue because travel is again going to be quite challenging,” said Laxman. “You don’t know who’s going to be where at the airports, so that I’m sure the franchises and the BCCI will be looking into.”