The outbreak of the novel Coronavirus is raking up headlines for all the bad reasons in the past month or so. The virus has already claimed more than 4000 lives and has proliferated in more than eighty countries, which also includes India. More than 60 confirmed cases have been reported across the country and with the Union Ministry of Health upholding all the foreign visas, the viability of staging the Indian Premier League (IPL) at this point in time has taken a major hit.
Out of the 60 positive cases reported in the country, seven of them are from Maharashtra. And, in the wake of the escalating situation, Maharashtra health Minister Rajesh Tope, on Wednesday, revealed that the state government has two options: to postpone the tournament altogether or stage it in empty stadiums.
“One thing is sure that there will be no sale of tickets,” sources in the Maharashtra government were quoted as saying by India Today. Tope also revealed to the reporters that the state government recently discussed the issue of the IPL, following which the aforementioned two options concurred.
“After discussion, we have come to two options: either to postpone matches or to have matches without selling tickets,” Tope revealed. He said that the matches will be telecast in order to avoid any large public gathering.
IPL governing council set to meet on March 14
Meanwhile, the IPL governing council will meet on March 14th where the point of discussion will be, whether to hold the games inside empty stadiums or postpone the tournament altogether. There is also an option of granting B-sport visas to foreign players.
The issue regarding the availability of the foreign players has galore after the Ministry of Health suspended the visas of foreigners till April 15, 2020. “All existing visas, except diplomatic, official, UN/International Organizations, employment, project visas, stand suspended till 15th April 2020. This will come into effect from 1200 GMT on 13th March 2020 at the port of departure” Union Ministry of Health said in a statement.
The 13th edition of the IPL is scheduled to take place on March 29 with defending champions Mumbai Indians squaring off against Chennai Super Kings at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai.
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