IPL 2020 suspended until April 15 amidst COVID-19

Indian Premier League 2020 has been suspended until April 15 following global concerns surrounding the now-pandemic Coronavirus (COVID-19).

“The BCCI cares and sensitive about all its stakeholders, and public health generally , and it’s taking all necessary steps to make sure that, all people associated with IPL including fans have a secure cricketing experience,” a BCCI media release signed by board secretary Jay Shah stated.

“The BCCI will work closely with the govt. of India alongside the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and every one other relevant Central and government departments during this regard.”

There are concerns from the franchises over the chances of conducting the games, even fortnight later. Governments in Delhi, Maharashtra have already voiced their apprehensions to sporting bodies. While the small print of a renewed schedule is yet to be sketched out, there’s the likelihood of moving faraway from a standard home-away format if venues are set to be limited.

Board President Sourav Ganguly and secretary Jay Shah will meet representatives of every of the eight franchises and other stakeholders during Saturday’s Governing Council (GC) meet to apprise them of specifics and a possible road-map.

The conduct of the 13th season of the T20 tournament, originally scheduled to start on March 29, had come under a cloud of uncertainty after India’s sports ministry issued an advisory to all or any the National Sports Federations, including BCCI, against public gathering in any sporting event.

The advisory further stated that if the conduct of the event couldn’t be avoided, it should be held behind closed doors, without the spectators. The Ministry of External Affairs went a step further, recommending to the BCCI to not plow ahead with the tournament.

These advisories followed each day after the govt. of India imposed stringent restrictions on the issuance of visas to India, which itself was a response to the rapid spread of the virus that forced the World Health Organization (WHO) to attribute pandemic status thereto .

Several global sporting events including portions of the ATP Tour (Tennis), the Series a (Italian football) and therefore the NBA (National Basketball Association) are suspended due to the rapid escalation of the virus-related cases. Cricket, too, has been affected across the planet with the continued Chappell-Hadlee series between Australia and New Zealand and therefore the PSL games at Karachi being played behind closed doors as a precautionary measure.

The BCCI has already confirmed that the 2 ODIs against South Africa , in Lucknow and Kolkata, are going to be played ahead of empty stands while tournaments like Road Safety T20 series (India), Australia Women’s tour of South Africa , Africa T20 cup and World XI vs Asia XI are suspended.

According to the WHO, the novel Coronavirus has affected 118 nations thus far. Around 120,000 people are suffering from the virus with over 4,300 deaths across the world. In India, 79 people are stricken by the virus.

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