The Indian Premier League (IPL) 2020 has come under severe doubt after the government ordered fresh visa restrictions over foreign players to prevent the spread of novel coronavirus. The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has decided to wait for the next couple of days to decide its next action.
The development comes after the government issued a fresh advisory banning all foreign visas except a few categories like diplomatic and employment, till April 15 in the wake of new positive cases of coronavirus in the country. On Wednesday, a senior Board official said, “Please give us two days. It’s not possible to give you concrete details at the moment.”
India has recorded over 60 positive cases in the outbreak which has killed over 4000 people globally. The IPL 2020 is scheduled to start from March 29 while there is an option to play the match in empty stadiums. However, the final decision will be taken at IPL’s Governing Council meeting in Mumbai on March 14. The BCCI is worried about the 60-odd foreign cricketers, who will travel to India for IPL.
The government in a statement said, “All existing visas, except diplomatic, official, UN/International organisations, employment and project visas, stand suspended till 15th April 2020. This will come into effect from 1200GMT on 13th March 2020 at the port of departure.”
The Maharashtra government is likely to restrict the IPL games in the state while the only possible solution is playing the matches inside empty stadiums. The pressure has increased after the Legends T20 meet games in Pune, featuring Sachin Tendulkar and Brain Lara were cancelled.