Will IPL 2020 take place: All sorts of questions regarding the biggest T20 league are being put up due to the coronavirus threat.
The outbreak of coronavirus has started to have severe ramifications on events across the globe. From events being played behind closed doors to getting postponed, a lot of changes are being made to avoid “mass gatherings”.
This morning saw the announcement regarding the ongoing Road Safety World Series being played behind closed doors. With the same happening in a cricketing event in India, all eyes were expected to move towards the Indian Premier League which is scheduled to begin on March 29.
Going by the recent guidelines issues by the Sports Ministry, it seems that there are high chances of IPL 2020 also being shifted behind closed doors.
Will IPL 2020 take place?
Kiren Rijiju, India’s Minister of State for Youth Affairs and Sports, issued the guidelines after coronavirus was declared a “pandemic” by the World Health Organisation (WHO).
“Experts across the World have advised to reduce mass gatherings to avoid the spread of COVID-19 Novel Coronavirus disease. In view of above, it is advised that mass gatherings may be avoided or possibly be postponed till the disease spread is contained.
There are many confusions amongst the athletes at this moment. Two Advisories are issued by the Ministry of Youth Affairs & Sports for matches abroad and the domestic. There’s no restrictions on playing but guidelines to be followed strictly in the larger interest of health. pic.twitter.com/RoohGcsOma
— Kiren Rijiju (@KirenRijiju) March 12, 2020
“In case any such mass gatherings are organized, States may take necessary action guide the Organisers on precautions to be taken as per the risk communication material already sent so as to avoid any Severe Acute Respiratory Illness (SARI) cases and Influenz Illness (ILs) including Covid-19,” read the advisory made public regarding mass gatherings.
“We are not stopping the game”
Rijiju also opened up on the fact that the Sports Ministry is not suggesting at cancelling the tournament. However, the organisers need to practice all the necessary instructions to make sure that no one including the players get affected by coronavirus.
“We are not stopping the game. We are just telling to ensure that there is no mass gathering. Precautionary step is very important for the health of the country.
“Health of the nation is more important than anything. If matches happen the organisers would need to put in place all infrastructure including screening machines. You cannot hold a match without that.
“We are not saying anything to stop the match. We are just saying: even if they go ahead with the match, ensure that guidelines are followed. People’s health cannot be put into danger,” Rijiju was quoted as saying by the reporters outside the parliament.
Other than the IPL, it would also be interesting to watch what steps do the BCCI (Board of Control for Cricket in India) take regarding the ongoing South Africa’s tour of India.