Coronavirus pandemic: IPL will be banned in Delhi, says Deputy CM

The Ministry of External Affairs had earlier advised the BCCI not to go ahead with the Indian Premier League (IPL) “at this time” but left it to the discretion of the board.

Delhi Capitals reached the playoffs in the IPL 2019 edition.   -  r.v. moorthy

Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia on Friday said that the Delhi Government will ban IPL 2020 in the wake of coronavirus. “IPL will be banned in wake of coronavirus threat,” Manish Sisodia was quoted as saying by news agency PTI.

“You are advised to adhere to the advisories issued by the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare and ensure that no public gathering takes place in any sporting event. In the event, the sporting event cannot be avoided, the same could be done without allowing gathering of people, including spectators,” the Sports Ministry said in a letter to the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) and all national sports federations, including the BCCI.

The Ministry of External Affairs had earlier advised the BCCI not to go ahead with the Indian Premier League (IPL) “at this time” but left it to the discretion of the board. The BCCI continued to explore various options ahead of Saturday’s IPL Governing Council (GC) meeting to decide the fate of the 13th edition which is scheduled to start in Mumbai on March 29.

 

Holistic approach

“There have been conflicting advisories from various quarters, so on Saturday, we will sit down with all the stakeholders and take a holistic approach for deciding the future course of action,” BCCI treasurer Arun Dhumal told Sportstar on Thursday.

While Dhumal confirmed that representatives of all eight franchisees along with those from the broadcaster have been invited for the meeting, he said it would be premature to discuss overseas players’ participation.

Sportstar reported on Thursday that with a majority of visas to India being cancelled in the wake of COVID-19 scare, overseas cricketers and coaching staff members will be ineligible to enter the country at least till April 15 since they are issued B-Sports visas under Business Visa category.

“Yes, it has been brought to our notice. If the GC decides to go ahead with the event, then we shall have to request the relevant government authorities for it (issuing visas to overseas cricketers and support staff members),” Dhumal said.

With the sports ministry diktat of not allowing public gatherings, it is likely that if IPL goes ahead as scheduled, it will be played in front of empty stands, at least till the virus threat subsides.

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