The BCCI has suspended the 2020 edition of the Indian Premier League until April 15 due to the coronavirus pandemic. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)
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 the disease now stopping or affecting sporting events all over the globe, the fate of the IPL is uncertain. There will be a meeting of the IPL Governing Council in Mumbai on Saturday and there will be a decision taken on what could be the logistics after April 15. In a circular issued by the Delhi government, it stated that, "All sports gatherings (including IPL), conferences, seminars beyond 200 people are prohibited in NCT of Delhi for the purpose of prevention and control of the outbreak of epidemic disease namely COVID-19."
The IPL 2020 has been postponed till April 15 in the wake of the Coronavirus pandemic. (Image credit: Getty Images)
Union Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju and Sports secretary Radhey Shyam Julaniya have issued strict advisories to follow the Health Ministry's advisory regarding the coronavirus pandemic. The government 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 the wake of the developments, Rijiju said, "We have requested all the sporting federations to follow the guidelines of the health ministry. One must avoid mass gatherings in a tournament like the IPL. All over the world, many tournaments are being played behind closed doors or cancelled in order to prevent the spread of the pandemic," Rijiju said.
Rijiju's comment comes on the lines of Sports secretary Radhey Shyam Julaniya who told ANI, "All national federations, including BCCI, are asked to follow Health Ministry's advisory and avoid large gatherings, keeping in mind the Coronavirus Outbreak. We have sent the advisory to everyone."
A closed-door IPL seems like a real possibility now but even a postponement cannot be ruled out given that 60-odd overseas recruits won't be available to ply their trade, at least in the intial stages of the event starting March 29 in Mumbai. For the first time in recent memory, India has suspended all visas. There are a few exceptions. Officials from the United Nations, the WHO and other diplomats will continue to get the Indian visas. The traffic on the international land borders have also been restricted.