Introduction of COVID- 19 as a pandemic by WHO, narrowed down the possibility of IPL 2020. COVID- 19 or Coronavirus is related to respiratory illness which spreads primarily via physical contact. The rapid spread of the virus resulted in 4300 deaths, 120000 sufferings in 118 countries, explaining the severity of the hour.
- The Scenario
Due to sudden outbursts of coronavirus, BCCI announced the remaining two ODI’s between India and South Africa to be held in a closed panel without fans. However, IPL 2020 had faced more than this. Due to the dynamic and rapid spread of the virus, the Government of India has suspended foreign visas till April 15, foreign players and coaches visiting India could be granted with B sports visa but there were still chances of suspension.
Therefore, the franchise always wanted IPL to be postponed to mid-April as apart from Delhi capital, all the other franchises have 8 foreign cricketers in their team.
In a press conference at the ministry of external affairs on 12th march 2020, Joint Secretary at Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Ravi Dabbu said “ It is for the organizers to decide whether to go ahead with it or not. And then we will be open to the idea if they really want to do it. Our advice would be not to do it at this time, but if they still want to go ahead it is their decision.”
- What the Sports Ministry has to say
Ministry of Health & Family Welfare has issued some advisories under the Epidemic Disease Act, 1897, which basically provides some guidelines to control the spread of disease. The guidelines are all about following basic hygiene techniques and avoiding gatherings at the time of the epidemic.
Sports ministry, on the other hand, had accepted the advice of the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare about organizing matches without spectators. The idea was to avoid gathering to keep the public and sports players safe.
A final Governing council meeting on this announcement revealed the decision of BCCI president, Sourav Ganguly, secretary, Jay Shah and top management of IPL postponing IPL until 15th April as a precaution against coronavirus.
The above decision may affect the revenue and commercial aspect of sports. But
“Waiting for a few days is a better way to go, than playing without fans.”
- Way Forward
There are some other sports events too, that are in the process of being rescheduled or postponed for the time being. But every eye today is towards the conduct of IPL.
As BCCI is conscious about its stakeholders, players and all the cricket fans, so it seems to be the right decision for the common interests.