“We are monitoring the situation for now and will have an update once a decision is taken.” – Brijesh Patel © AFP
The Indian Premier League’s Governing Council is set to meet on Saturday (March 14) to discuss, among other things, the viability of hosting IPL 2020 amidst the threat of COVID-19, which as per the current schedule is set to begin on March 29. The decision on having a meeting with regards to this was taken on Wednesday evening, soon after reports of Maharashtra government’s objection over the hosting of the event emerged.
Speaking on the Board of Control for Cricket in India’s stand on it, Brijesh Patel – IPL chairman told Cricbuzz, “We are monitoring the situation for now and will have an update once a decision is taken.”
Earlier in the day, Rajesh Tope, Maharashtra’s Health Minister had said, “All ministers in the cabinet meeting today reached a consensus to either postpone or have matches without selling tickets.”
Even as a cricket tournament – involving former cricketers – is being organised by the road safety wing of the Maharashtra government currently in Mumbai, which is witnessing sizeable crowds, IPL might be forced to go the way of some of the other sports leagues in the world, who are playing in front of empty stands.
Even as questions are raised over the possibility of IPL going forward amidst the COVID-19 scare, the South Africa tour of India is set to take place, with the BCCI sending out advisories for the spectators, teams and others involved with the game. “The Board of Control for Cricket in India’s (BCCI) medical team has been monitoring the current coronavirus COVID-19 situation. All the players, team support staff, State Associations have been briefed about the standard guidelines issued by WHO as well as the Ministry of Health & Welfare – Government of India,” BCCI’s press release reads.
For the spectators, “the State Associations along with the healthcare service providers/hospitals are ensuring that appropriate information, education and communication material in the form of posters/hoardings and public announcements regarding the precautions to be taken by everyone against the spread of coronavirus COVID-19 are being provided.”