Plea filed in High Court against IPL 2020 amidst coronavirus outbreak

On Tuesday, it was also reported that the Karnataka Government has written to Central government to suspend or postpone the IPL.

Chennai Super Kings
Chennai Super Kings skipper MS Dhoni. (Photo: Surjeet Yadav/IANS)

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The 13th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) is just over a fortnight away. The upcoming edition of the league gets underway on March 29 at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai. Defending champions Mumbai Indians will take on arch-rivals Chennai Super Kings in a mouth-watering tournament opener.

But even before the IPL could start, there are huge doubts over it happening because of the coronavirus outbreak all across the globe. In the latest turn of events, a plea has been filed in the Madras High Court seeking a direction to the central government not to allow the BCCI to conduct IPL games due to the coronavirus outbreak.

The PIL has been filed by advocate G Alex Benziger. It is likely to come up before a division bench comprising Justices M M Sundresh and Krishnan Ramaswamy on March 12. In his petition, Benziger pointed out that there is no medicine for coronavirus yet as he urged the court to stop the Indian cricket board from staging the tournament.

“As on date, as per the website of the World Health Organisation, there was no specific medicine or to prevent or to treat the COVID-19,” the petitioner said as per Times of India. According to the petitioner, the coronavirus was spreading all over the world rapidly and creating a huge epidemic disaster.

The Italy Federation League, one of the oldest leagues in the world, has been severely affected and the football games were being played behind closed doors with no fans allowed at any football ground until April 3 by the Italian government, the petitioner said. The petitioner also added that he had sent a representation to authorities not to allow the BCCI to conduct IPL T20 cricket matches. As there was no response, he filed the present plea.

Karnataka and Maharashtra governments on alert too

Earlier this week, reports came out suggesting that the Karnataka government has written to the central government, requesting for the IPL to postpone or suspend this year amid coronavirus threat. The report further stated that the Karnataka Government has also denied hosting the IPL matches. Before that, Maharashtra Health Minister Rajesh Tope had raised concerns over the coronavirus outbreak and felt that the IPL can be organised later.

“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.