Despite COVID-19 concerns, BCCI holds decision on IPL

The cash-rich league is scheduled to be played in nine States from March 29 to May 24

Despite various State governments raising concerns about the COVID-19 threat to the Indian Premier League’s (IPL’s) 13th edition, scheduled to start on March 29, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has decided to adopt a “wait and watch” approach before taking a final call on the money-spinning T20 tourney.

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With the number of confirmed coronavirus cases in India crossing 50, the Karnataka Health Minister B. Sriramulu joined his Maharashtra counterpart Rajesh Tope in appealing to the Centre to reschedule the IPL. The cash-rich league is scheduled to be played in nine States from March 29 to May 24.

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While IPL chairman Brijesh Patel didn’t respond to a query, a BCCI executive confirmed to The Hindu that the league authorities are monitoring the situation but won’t take any drastic step until and unless they are instructed by the government.

“Anyway the South Africa (ODI) series is going to be played to packed houses and a veterans league is already attracting large crowds in Maharashtra, so for the time being, the question of exploring other options doesn’t arise,” the executive said.

Depending on the government’s decision, the IPL committee may consider exploring back-up venues from the regions that aren’t hit by the virus or play in a few grounds to empty stands.

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