David Warner
David Warner (Credits: IPL)

The participation of overseas players in the upcoming edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) looks set to be affected by Indian government’s decision to impose visa restriction in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak. On Wednesday, the government announced that all existing visas, except diplomatic, official, UN/international organisations, employment and project visas, stand suspended till April 15.

The IPL is scheduled to start on March 19 and media reports suggest that although it is likely to be played behind closed doors, the overseas players are unlikely to play at least till April 15. And at a time when nothing is clear at the moment, Cricket Australia has had its say on Australian players’ participation in the cash-rich league.

Speaking to Sportstar, a communications manager with Cricket Australia, left the final call of participation in the hands of individual players as the CA and IPL have no affiliation whatsoever. Thus it is safe to say that overseas players’ participation in IPL depends on the Indian government’s decision as well as how serious the outbreak would be in the coming days.

“The IPL is not affiliated with CA as a separate competition featuring individual Australian players, whose contracts are directly with their franchises,” the communications manager said.

“From a CA perspective, we continue to monitor the situation, particularly looking at the advice provided by DFAT (Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade) and other relevant government agencies, including the Australian Institute of Sport, which has outlined a coordinated approach for all Australian sports,” the communication manager added.

IPL, IPL 2020, Closed Doors, Government
IPL Trophy. Photo by: Deepak Malik /SPORTZPICS for BCCI

On the other hand, a manager of one of a prominent Australian cricketer who is to play in the IPL this year, suggested that the situation is presently too ‘premature’ to comment.

“We aren’t in a position to comment at this stage particularly given we’ve not received any advice from India/IPL team. Cricket Australia has not made any comment in relation to this. I think it’s too early,” he said.

An IPL franchise official, on Thursday, had asked the BCCI to work with the government in getting IPL’s foreign lot an exemption into the new visa restrictions that have been imposed by the Indian government. While there’s been no development in the case as yet, the current ruling means overseas players wouldn’t be allowed inside India till April 15.

A clearer picture will emerge later this week after the IPL Governing Council meeting takes place on Saturday. The BCCI has invited all the franchises and other stakeholders for the crucial meeting that would potentially decide the fate of the tournament.

Also Read: Pakistan Super League (PSL) To Take Place Behind Closed Doors


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