The 13th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) has faced an uncertainty owing to the Coronavirus scare. The tournament has already been postponed from March 29 till April 15 and now, all the eight franchises have called off their respective pre-tournament camps till a new notice has been issued.
The serious outbreak of Covid-19 which has been declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization and claimed two lives in the country so far besides affecting over a hundred has hit the sporting world and the IPL has been no exception.
According to a report in the Deccan Chronicle, three-time finalists Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) deferred their training camp, which was scheduled to start on March 21, on Monday because of the health scare. Defending champions Mumbai Indians, three-time winners Chennai Super Kings and two-title winners Kolkata Knight Riders have already cancelled their camps.
“Keeping in mind the health and safety of everyone involved, the RCB training camp scheduled to start on the 21st of March has been deferred until further notice. We request everyone to follow the guidelines provided by the Health Ministry and stay safe,” RCB, led by India captain Virat Kohli, tweeted.
Let's stay strong and fight the #COVID19 outbreak by taking all precautionary measures. Stay safe, be vigilant and most importantly remember, prevention is better than cure. Please take care everyone.
— Virat Kohli (@imVkohli) March 14, 2020
Last week, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) suspended the tournament after the government imposed travel restrictions. Three states also refused to host games owing to the pandemic that has killed 6,500 people globally and affected 1.6 lakh.
MS Dhoni leaves Chennai after CSK suspends camp
Chennai captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni, for whom the IPL this year is an important event as far as reviving his international career is concerned, left the city after the Super Kings suspended their camp.
All the franchise owners are hoping that in case the tournament kicks off on April 15, the states that have denied permission for games so far to avoid crowd gatherings will give the green light. The first match was to feature Mumbai and Chennai at the Wankhede Stadium on March 29 in a replay of 2019 final. Mumbai won the last year by one run.
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