Prime Minister Narendra Modi held a video conference call with BCCI president Sourav Ganguly. This marks the first instance where the Prime Minister held such a meeting with the head of a sports body since the outbreak.
Along with Ganguly, Indian skipper Virat Kohli and former batsman Sachin Tendulkar joined the video conference call. Other notable cricketers included MS Dhoni, KL Rahul, Zaheer Khan, KL Rahul, and Yuvraj Singh.
Sourav Ganguly hosted the call from his residence in Kolkata at 11 AM on Friday. The Prime Minister talked about the awareness behind COVID-19 and how celebrities can come into the picture when it comes to influencing people into taking precautions. A source claimed:
“The PM will ask them to pass across the message of maintaining the lockdown. He will urge them to post videos to keep people occupied,”
Kiren Rijiju, the Indian sports minister was present in the conference call as well along with 49 other athletes.
“Of these, 12 have been given three minutes each to speak and present their view,” A sports ministry source was quoted as saying although the names of the athletes were not revealed.
Apart from this, the BCCI President Sourav Ganguly is expected to talk about the status of the 13th edition of the Indian Premier League which hangs by a thread.
The tournament, which was slated to kick off on March 29th was postponed to April 15, which marks the day after the end of the 21-day lockdown which has been set in place to contain the spread.
The Prime Minister had earlier thanked all the athletes for their contribution to the PM-CARES fund and their help for tackling the pandemic.
“I am very happy that our hardworking sportspersons are at the forefront of the battle to defeat COVID-19. I would like to thank @sharad_kumar01, @ImRo45, @singhesha10, @M_Raj03 for their contribution to PM-CARES.#IndiaFightsCorona,” PM Modi had earlier tweeted.
Commenting on the conference call earlier today, Ganguly had confirmed his presence but refused to divulge the details behind the topics that were on the table. He said:
“Yes, I will be joining our Honourable PM via video call. But I cannot tell you what will be discussed.”