India’s Australia tour in jeopardy after coronavirus outbreak

The tour is set to begin in October with a T20I series.

The tour is set to begin in October with a T20I series.
Virat Kohli of India plays a shot. (Photo by Henry Browne/Getty Images)

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The massive COVID-19 pandemic could well end up playing spoilsport to India’s tour of Australia later this year. The tour is set to begin in October with a T20I series and end with the Tests in December. In Australia, the coronavirus cases have reached in excess of 2.000 with 16 deaths reported thus far. It has prompted the government to seal all the borders.

The virus has consumed the lives of over 30,000 globally and the situation has only worsened with time. A six-month travel ban means that no team would be allowed to enter Australia. And because of the restrictions, doubts have been cast over India’s tour Down Under.

“Right now, it’s too early to say anything. It’s a potential six-month travel ban. If the situation is under control, it could be lifted early also,” a senior BCCI office bearer was quoted as saying in Sportstar.

Challenges for the Indian board

The T20 World Cup, which is scheduled to get underway on October 2018, is also under jeopardy due to the coronavirus outbreak. The current situation has put the BCCI in a fix, regarding arranging the tickers, processing visas of the players and other requirements.

“If the international travel ban, in reality, exists for six months, then it becomes a logistical nightmare. At least, for the T20 tri-series before the World T20. The processing of visa, tickets everything becomes a logistical challenge,” another BCCI source said.

Apart from the Australia tour, India’s other fixtures in the Future Tours Programme (FTP) could well end up getting affected. In September, England are scheduled to tour India and that tour has also come under the clouds.

“Also, not only Australia, but England is also supposed to tour India in September for their white-ball leg. Will things be normal in the UK and players allowed to travel. These are big questions.”

“The frustrating aspect is that you can’t even decide anything as the situation varies from country to country. However helpless it might sound, we can only wait and watch,” the source added.

In India, over 1,000 positive cases of coronavirus have been reported and the death tolls have reached over 30. Currently the country is going through a 21-day lockdown period until April 14.