The Coronavirus outbreak has been the most impactful event in recent times. From the city of Wuhan in China, the virus has spread into many other countries, causing major disruption in various departments, including the world of sports. In the field of Olympics, the Asian Qualifiers were shifted to Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, and now in a bombshell, Tokyo 2020, which was supposed to start in July, is now on the brink of a postpone or cancellation. Later this month comes the IPL 2020 season, the blockbuster cricket tournament in India. If the hapless event of Coronavirus hitting the country, how will it affect the tournament?
Inaugurated in 2008, IPL is the most attended cricket league in the world. Other than Indian players, a hefty number of foreign cricketers set foot in the country for the tournament, in addition to many foreign ICC officials, several international media outlets, and an enormous crowd of foreign supporters.
Till date, more than 90000 people around the world have been positively affected by Coronavirus, and 3100 among them have died. In case of a virus outbreak before or during the tournament, BCCI the organisers of the tournament han’t taken any precautionary steps for an emergency, which has irked some.
According to the Times of India, several sources have raised question towards BCCI for not speaking up about any preventive measures in case of an emergency. Many countries has already put up a visa ban on people coming from China, the epicentre of the virus outbreak.
Add to that, the tournament’s title sponsors are Vivo, one of the largest Chinese smartphone companies of the world. While the virus outbreak has made a negative impact on the Indo-China trade, sources claim Vivo’s market is sure to be affected during the tournament, which can have an adverse effect on the tournament sponsorship.
Sources have also told TOI that an ill-effect of the virus spread on the tournament might impact the foreign companies who sponsor the various franchises in IPL.
However, Brijesh Patel, the chairman of the IPL Governing Council, has ruled out any threat to the tournament from the virus outbreak.
“There is no threat as of now and we are keeping a tab (on the situation),” Patel said on Tuesday.
The 2020 IPL season starts on 29th March with defending champions Mumbai Indians going head to head with Chennai Super Kings at the Wankhede Stadium.