The first ODI between India and South Africa was abandoned due to rain while the remaining two games have been called off due to the coronavirus pandemic. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)
The India versus South Africa ODI series that was to be played in Lucknow and Kolkata behind closed doors has now been put on hold in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic which has also forced the postponment of the 2020 Indian Premier League. The Board of Control for Cricket in India said it along with Cricket South Africa (CSA) have decided to reschedule the ongoing ODI series in view of COVID-19 outbreak. South Africa will visit India at a later date to play three ODIs.
"The BCCI along with Cricket South Africa (CSA) have decided to reschedule the ongoing ODI series in view of the Novel Corona Virus (COVID-19) outbreak. South Africa will visit India at a later date to play 3 One-day Internationals," the BCCI said in a statement.
Earlier, reports suggested that the two remaining ODIs between India and South Africa in Lucknow and Kolkata were called off owing to the COVID-19 threat as the country's sports calendar continued to go haywire because of the global coronavirus. "With the IPL being postponed, it only made sense that at this point of time, this series is also called off. The country is facing a serious pandemic," a top BCCI official told news agency PTI. The first ODI between the two sides in Dharamsala was washed out. Both the sides had reached Lucknow on Friday. "The South African team will come to Delhi and leave by taking at the earliest available flight," he added.
The matches were earlier planned to be held behind closed doors due to the government directive, which asked for sporting events to be shut for fans in view of the pandemic. The IPL was on Friday pushed to April 15 from its scheduled March 29 start. India has recorded more than 80 positive cases so far with the global infected count standing at over 100,000. The death toll because of the virus has gone beyond 5,000 internationally.
Uttar Pradesh has seen a total of 11 coronavirus cases while in Lucknow, there has been one confirmed case. (Image credit: Getty Images)
There were doubts over whether the second ODI between India and South Africa at the Ekana stadium in Lucknow on March 15 would take place. Uttar Pradesh has seen a total of 11 coronavirus cases while in Lucknow, there has been one confirmed case. With the coronavirus now declared a pandemic, the government has issued a fresh advisory with a ban on all existing foreign visas, except a few categories like diplomatic and employment, till April 15 in the wake of new positive cases. In a statement by the Uttar Pradesh Health Minister Jay Pratap Singh, he said, "We have written to DM Lucknow to request the BCCI to postpone the match between India and South Africa in Lucknow."
The BCCI has suspended the 2020 edition of the Indian Premier League to April 15 due to the coronavirus outbreak and in a statement, it expressed concern and sensitivity about all its stakeholders, and public health in general while it took all necessary steps to ensure that, all people related to IPL including fans have a safe cricketing experience. The BCCI has said it will work closely with the Government of India along with the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and all other relevant Central and State Government departments in this regard. All the franchisees have been informed of the decision, according to various media reports.
Manish Sisodia, the deputy chief minister of Delhi, has announced that no IPL games will take place in Delhi in the wake of the Coronavirus outbreak and that all sporting events in the city will be cancelled. The coronavirus pandemic has cast a big cloud over the 2020 edition of the Indian Premier League.
-With PTI Inputs-