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Under-pressure BCCI suspends IPL till April 15 due to COVID-19 pandemic

India has more than 81 positive coronavirus cases so far and recorded its first COVID-19 death on Thursday in Karnataka

By PTI
  • Published 13.03.20, 3:17 PM
  • Updated 13.03.20, 5:59 PM
  • 2 mins read
  •  
BCCI President Sourav Ganguly has reached Mumbai to convince IPL franchisees to hold IPL matches behind closed door. File photo

The  BCCI has postponed the start of this year's IPL from March 29 to April 15 in wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. "The Board of Control for Cricket in India has decided to suspend IPL 2020 till 15th April 2020, as a precautionary measure against the ongoing Novel Corona Virus (COVID-19) situation," the BCCI said in a statement.

This came hours after Delhi government said it will not allow any sporting activity in the national capital due to the health crisis. Delhi is home to the Delhi Capitals IPL franchise.

India has more than 81 positive coronavirus cases so far and recorded its first COVID-19 death on Thursday in Karnataka.

"The BCCI is concerned and sensitive about all its stakeholders, and public health in general, and it is taking all necessary steps to ensure that, all people related to IPL including fans have a safe cricketing experience," the Board stated.

The Board said it will work closely with the central government to tackle the situation.

The IPL is set to be a closed-door affair owing to the global crisis, which has caused close to 5,000 deaths.

Several sporting events internationally and in India have been postponed or cancelled due to the travel restrictions that the spread of the virus has triggered all across.

The Delhi government has stopped all sports gatherings, including the Indian Premier League 2020, in the national capital amidst the coronavirus threat, deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia said on Friday.

Addressing a press conference, Sisodia said district magistrates have been asked to ensure that all directives pertaining to coronavirus are implemented.

"All sports gatherings will be banned, including the IPL, in wake of the coronavirus threat," he said.

Health Minister Satyendar Jain said home quarantine is the best solution in case one has any symptom of coronavirus.

Delhi has so far reported six cases of coronavirus, which has been declared a pandemic by the World Health Organisation.

The first death of a coronavirus patient in India was confirmed by the Karnataka health officials on Thursday, saying that a 76-year-old man who died two days ago had tested positive for the virus.

The confirmation came on Thursday after the blood report was received. The patient died on Tuesday night on the way back from a private hospital in Hyderabad.

Thirty of his family members have been quarantined as they are being treated as primary contacts.

Karnataka health minister B. Sriramulu tweeted: “The 76-year-old man from Kalburgi (Gulbarga) who passed away & was a suspected #COVID19 patient has been confirmed for #COVID19. The necessary contact tracing, isolation & and other measures as per protocol are being carried out.”

The patient had travelled to Saudi Arabia on January 29 and returned on February 29.