To the sports enthusiasts out there, this year so far has not gotten off to a great start. And we’re afraid it looks bleak in the coming weeks too.
In light of the COVID-19 outbreak concerns, the Board of Control of Cricket in India (BCCI) has announced that the Indian Premier League 2020 (IPL) is, as of now, postponed. The suspension of one of the most anticipated sporting events comes as no surprise, though the disappointment hangs heavy.
Though the official announcement has not yet been made, the lockdown extension announcement made by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has put things in bright light. The lockdown which has been extended from April 14th to May 3rd to combat COVID-19 makes it necessary to postpone the IPL matches.
The BCCI and IPL franchise owners hope to find a suitable window to host the tournament later this year when the lockdown is over.
They were initially scheduled to begin on March 29th at the Wankhede stadium with Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings facing off in the opening match. The nationwide lockdown led to speculations of the IPL being converted to a closed-door event, where the teams play in an empty stadium and have the game televised.
The global pandemic has led to most of the cricket tournaments being cancelled or postponed across the world. England has delayed the start of their series tentatively to March 28th. The India vs South Africa to be held in March had to be called off by the BCCI as well, seeing as the number of COVID-19 cases has risen dramatically in both countries. The ongoing Chappell-Hadlee series between Australia and NZ, along with the PSL games in Karachi was held without an audience as part of the social distancing protocols being taken worldwide.
Besides, the BCCI has also confirmed that the Australia Women’s tour of South Africa, the Africa T20 Cup, and World XI vs Asia XI have all been put on hold.
It’s not just cricket that has fallen victim to the pandemic though. Several global events including parts of the ATP Tennis tour, a slew of football matches, and the NBA tournament (National Basketball Association) have been suspended due to the rapid spread of coronavirus around the world.
As on April 24th, the official report of the number of coronavirus cases in India has crossed 20,000 with the death toll crossing 650. The lockdown scenario remains for the foreseeable future, and the government might lift restrictions in areas where the situation is under control after May 3rd.
According to the WHO, COVID-19 has affected more than 200 nations so far, mainly hitting the US and Italy hard. With 2 million positive cases and the death toll is inching closer to 2,00,000.
According to the WHO, COVID-19 has affected more than 200 nations so far, mainly hitting the US and Italy hard. With 2 million positive cases and death toll inching closer to 2,00,000 world over, it makes sense to hold all public gatherings. As much as we will miss cheering for our favourite teams, it’s more important to win the battle against coronavirus. So stay home and stay safe everyone.