Although the outbreak of coronavirus has disrupted several major sporting events around the globe, cricket in India has still remain unaffected, despite the recent positive cases of COVID-19 infections across the country. Although questions were raised about the upcoming 2020 IPL season, BCCI president Sourav Ganguly last week officially confirmed that the blockbuster annual cricket league of the country is ‘very much on’, in addition to some necessary precautions. However, The recent sanctions imposed by the Government of India may deal a huge blow to the league!
IPL is the most followed cricket league in the world. A number of foreign players arrive in India to join up with their respective franchises, along with several ICC officials and media from abroad, and last but not the least, an enormous crowd of supporters from other nations that gather up in the venues.
Although BCCI recently spoke about several precautionary measures they will be conducting during the matches, the government’s latest decision might prove detrimental to IPL this year.
There has been over 60 confirmed cases of coronavirus infection in India. Recently, WHO declared the COVID-19 outbreak as pandemic, and yesterday, the Indian govt officially imposed a visa ban on foreigners coming to India, and has also suspended the existing visas of all foreigners that are currently staying in India, except diplomats, until 15th April.
On the other hand, starting this 29th March, IPL will run till 24th May. A visa restriction can effectively cancel out the foreign players’ participation in the league, along with a blow to the huge foreign crowd presence that flies to the country every year during IPL.
“The present scenario is a huge challenge for the BCCI-IPL and it is one where the circumstances are changing every few hours, and the BCCI has no control over these circumstances,” a BCCI official spoke to IANS.
However, BCCI themselves are hopeful on tackling an emergency condition, ensuring the 13th edition of the blockbuster league conducts peacefully.
“As is usually the case in such situations, the BCCI would be in regular touch with the concerned departments to take the best possible course of action in the interest of the game, the players, the fans and the league,” the official added.