The coronavirus outbreak is threatening to play spoilsport as BCCI gear up to host the Indian Premier League (IPL). The thirteenth edition of the IPL is scheduled to start on March 29 at Mumbai’s Wankhede Stadium. Reigning champions Mumbai Indians will lock horns against Chennai Super Kings in the tournament-opener.
But while the IPL looks set to start on the scheduled time right now, things could become complicated in the coming days. Recently, BCCI president Sourav Ganguly said that the league would take place as scheduled with some precautions. But the way things have turned out in the last few days, anything could happen.
In the last couple of weeks, more than two dozens cases of coronavirus have been detected in the country. And amidst all these, Karnataka government has reportedly made it clear that they won’t be able to host the IPL games this year. According to Karnataka Medical Education Minister K Sudhakar, a Bengaluru resident with a travel history to the USA was tested positive for novel coronavirus on Monday.
Reports claimed that he came in contact with 2,666 people since his return from the US. While the person has been isolated at Rajiv Gandhi Institute of Chest Diseases (RGICD) in Bengaluru, all primary schools in Bengaluru’s areas with IT companies have been shut until further notice.
According to local news channel Digvijay 24/7, the Karnataka Government has written a letter to the central government requesting for the postponement or suspension of IPL this year amid coronavirus threat. The report further stated that the Karnataka Government has also denied hosting the IPL matches.
Earlier, Maharashtra Health Minister Rajesh Tope had raised concerns over the coronavirus outbreak and said that the league could be staged at a later date.
“There is always a possible danger of spread (of contagious diseases) when large numbers of people gather in one place… Such (IPL) events can always be organised later,” Tope had earlier said.