'We suggest not to host IPL this time' - Ministry of External Affairs to the tournament organizers

Apart from IPL 2020, many sports like basketball and soccer have been affected by the wrath of Coronavirus.

Rohit Sharma and MS Dhoni
Rohit Sharma and MS Dhoni. (Photo by Robert Cianflone/Getty Images)

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The much-awaited IPL 2020 is only days away from its initiation but the threat of Coronavirus has derailed the tournament’s preparations. The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is facing a tough time in hosting the thirteenth edition of the IPL as the wrath of Coronavirus has affected many sporting events across the globe. Several matches have either been called off or have been played behind closed doors to keep a check on the spread of Covid-19.

Cities like Mumbai, Bengaluru and Chennai have also expressed concern regarding the hosting of IPL 2020 as a large crowd is expected to gather in matches– fueling the fire to the spread of life-threatening Coronavirus. The Maharashtra Government on Wednesday had banned the sale of tickets for IPL 2020, putting the tournament opener between Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings in jeopardy. Two of the most-successful franchises– Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings are slated to lock horns on March 29 at Wankhede at the pinnacle match of the cash-rich league.

Prior to Maharashtra Government’s move, Karnataka’s Education/Health Minister had also sought guidance from the Center over hosting IPL matches Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru. Bengaluru is home to the Virat Kohli-led franchise Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) as the Chinnaswamy Stadium has been hosting all their matches in the Indian Premier League.

Asia XI vs World XI T20Is have also been postponed due to Coronavirus

In recent developments of news, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) has also voiced their concern regarding the organization of IPL 2020. The MEA has advised the organizers to not schedule the tournament at this point of time. However, the MEA has also added that it’s upto the organizers to decide whether they want to go ahead and flag off the tournament.

“I think it is for the organizers to decide whether to go ahead with it or not. Our advice would be to not do it at this time but if they want to go ahead, it is their decision,” stated the MEA.

Apart from IPL 2020, many sports like basketball and soccer have been affected by the wrath of Coronavirus. Amid the fear of Coronavirus, the highly-anticipated T20I series between Asia and World XI have also been pushed further. The two T20Is of the series, which were slated to take place on March 21 and 22 respectively, have been postponed till the spread of the virus curbs down.