India vs SA: The remaining two ODIs between India and South Africa are likely to be played behind closed doors in Lucknow and Kolkata due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The matches are scheduled to be held on March 15 (Lucknow) and March 18 (Kolkata). The sports ministry has issued an advisory that in case it’s unavoidable to postpone a sporting event, then it is preferable that it be conducted without a large public gathering.
“The BCCI is in receipt of the sports ministry’s advisory. Obviously, if we are advised to avoid large gatherings, we will have to abide by it,” a BCCI source told PTI. Earlier, the news has come out that the IPL 2020 too could go behind the closed doors after the coronavirus outbreak. “We are telling sports federations to comply with the guidelines issued by the Health Ministry and formulated by a group of ministers which is constituted by the Prime Minister. So, any sports body in India should ensure that these guidelines are met,” he said.
The IPL 2020 is scheduled for a March 29 beginning at Mumbai and Rijiju said there is no move to stop the tournament. “We are not stopping the game. We are just telling to ensure that there is no mass gathering as precautionary step is very important for the health of the country.” The Minister said precautionary measures are very important for the health of public could not be put under danger. “That is the guideline. Health of the nation is more important than anything. If matches happen the organisers would need to put in place all infrastructure including screening machines. You cannot hold a match without that. “We are not saying anything to stop the match. We are just saying: even if they go ahead with the match, ensure that guidelines are to be followed. People’s health cannot be put into danger,” said Rijiju.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has declared Covid-19 as a pandemic on Wednesday night. The IPL Governing Council is meeting in Mumbai on Saturday (March 14) to evaluate the situation and decide the future of the IPL 2020.