In the latest development, the start of the 13th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) has been postponed owing to the fear of novel Coronavirus Pandemic. The decision of postponement of the tournament, which was scheduled to begin from the 29th March, was taken by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) top brass leady by its President Sourav Ganguly and Secretary Jay Shah along with the top management of the IPL after the advisory was issued by the Government of India (GOI).
The IPL governing body has communicated the same to all of the 8 franchises on Friday, saying it would meet the owners of Saturday in person in the meeting that will be held in Mumbai.
The BCCI has confirmed the development through a media release on Friday afternoon saying that the board is “suspending” the IPL until the 15th April as “precautionary measure” to contain the novel Coronavirus.
The release said, “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,” and added, “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.”
After this, IPL has joined the list of high-profile sporting events of the world like UEFA Champions League, the NBA, and the ATP Tour which have all been affected by the novel Coronavirus, a respiratory illness that was declared a Pandemic on Wednesday by the World Health Organisation (WHO).
As the COVID-19 escalates across the globe, the Indian Government have placed some serious restrictions for people travelling in and out of India. As the COVID-19 is highly contagious and spread through contact, the GOI said that the sporting bodies should adhere to the Health Ministry’s guidelines and avoid mass public gatherings.
It was earlier reported and speculated that there are high chances of IPL getting postponed and many teams even openly saying that they are ready to host and play matches in empty stadiums because of the pandemic.
Though the Central Sports Ministry said that it would not restrict any sports event from taking place as long as they follow the government guidelines discouraging mass gathering. The External Affairs Ministry had said that it advise was to postpone the tournament however, left the final decision at