The Ministry of External Affairs has advised the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to call off the upcoming edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) scheduled to commence from March 29 in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. On March 11 (Wednesday), the World Health Organisation (WHO) declared COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) a pandemic.
The novel coronavirus has halted many global sporting events. As the numbers say,118 countries have been affected by COVID-19, classified as a respiratory illness. More than 120,000 people have been infected with over 4,300 deaths worldwide. In India so far, 73 people have been infected with no deaths as yet.
The Sports Ministry of India has issued a directive stating that they have cancelled all international tournaments with the Central Government cancelling all the visit visa till April 15. While the Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju said that they have not asked the IPL organisers to call off the tournament but advised to host closed-door matches. On the contrary, the Ministry of External Affairs have suggested BCCI to not host the tournament this year.
“I think it is for the organizers to decide whether to go ahead with it or not. Our advice would be to not do it at this time but if they want to go ahead, it is their decision,” stated the MEA.
Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) on the effect of #coronavirus on IPL: I think it is for the organizers to decide whether to go ahead with it or not. Our advice would be to not do it at this time but if they want to go ahead, it is their decision. pic.twitter.com/qFlpsrxU0D
— ANI (@ANI) March 12, 2020
The IPL Governing Council is scheduled to meet on March 14 to discuss the fate of the tournament, which was to feature several overseas players arriving from and through different parts of the globe that have been affected by the pandemic.
IPL 2020 is slated to commence from March 29 with defending champions Mumbai Indians locking horns with Chennai Super Kings at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai.