The Cricket Control Board in India (BCCI) announced on Friday to postpone the start of the Indian Premier League until April 15 as a precaution against the spread of the coronavirus. It had been scheduled to start on March 29.
The Indian government said Wednesday night that it would cancel almost all visas issued to travel to India until April 15 to try to prevent the spread of the virus, and the country’s sports secretary said on Thursday that the next matches of the National cricket team should be played empty. stadiums.
“The Cricket Control Board in India decided to suspend IPL 2020 until April 15, 2020, as a precautionary measure against the current situation of the New Crown virus (COVID-19),” the board said in a statement.
“The BCCI is concerned and responsive to all its stakeholders and public health in general and is taking all necessary steps to ensure that all people related to IPL, including fans, have a safe cricket experience. ”
More than 134,500 people have been infected worldwide and more than 4,900 have died from the flu-like virus, according to a Reuters count of government announcements. Sports events have been canceled or postponed worldwide in recent weeks.
India’s national cricket team is locked in a three-day, one-game international series against South Africa, the first of which was ravaged by rain in the northern Indian city of Dharamsala on Thursday.
BCCI said the remaining two matches, in Lucknow and Kolkata, would be played without the presence of a crowd.
Season eight of the eight-team IPL was slated, to begin with, a match between the defending Indian champions of Mumbai and Chennai Super Kings.
The cash-rich IPL, with famous owners and business houses, attracts the best cricket players in the world. Based on the above schedule, the franchise-based competition was scheduled to run for seven weeks with the final on May 17.
The value of the IPL brand has skyrocketed over the years since its launch in 2008 and grew to an estimated $ 6.8 billion in 2019, according to corporate finance advisory firm Duff & Phelps, based in NY.