The BCCI on Friday decided to postpone the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2020 to April 15 as concerns over coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak mount.
“The BCCI is concerned and sensitive about all its stakeholders, and public health in general, and it is taking all necessary steps to ensure that, all people related to IPL including fans have a safe cricketing experience.
“The BCCI 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,” a statement by the board said.
This comes after Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) advised the board against holding this year’s edition at this time. MEA Additional Secretary Dammu Ravi had said the government’s advice would be “not do it at this time but if the organisers want to go ahead, it is their decision”.
The matches were scheduled to begin from March 29, but there were growing calls to postpone the IPL in view of the coronavirus outbreak.
Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said on Friday that the national capital will not have any sporting events, including IPL. Before Delhi, Karnataka had also expressed unwillingness to host IPL matches and Maharashtra had banned the sale of tickets.
India’s decision to suspend all visas, except diplomatic and employment, till April 15 in a bid to contain the spread of coronavirus had also put a question mark on the participation of foreign players in the IPL. The players come under the ‘B-Sports’ visa category, according to The Hindu, and the business visa is not part of the list of exceptions.
(With PTI inputs)