Bengaluru, March 11: The IPL 2020 is still three weeks away but the BCCI is going through a delicate time as concerns have been raised about the conduct of the tournament in three major cities by various entities after the Coronavirus outbreak.
Mumbai, Bengaluru and Chennai are home cities to defending champions Mumbai Indians, Royal Challengers Bangalore led by Virat Kohli and three-time champions Chennai Super Kings and Mumbai is also the venue of the first IPL match of this season on March 29 between MI and CSK.
Maharashtra Health Minister Rajesh Tope had already wrote to Centre asking the feasibility of holding IPL matches in Mumbai as it will lead to large gathering, increasing possibility of virus spreading.
Karnataka joined Maharashtra with Education/Health Minister K Sudhakar writing to the Centre seeking guidance in holding IPL matches in Bengaluru. "I have written to the Centre saying IPL matches are scheduled to be held in Karnataka. We have asked for the Centre's guidance on what action we should take (in holding IPL matches in Bengaluru)."
Jawaid Akhtar, the state Additional Chief Secretary, said the government will also watch the course of action Government of Maharashtra adopts in this regard.
Meanwhile Hindustan Times reported that the Marine Drive Residents' Association (MDRA) has written to Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) and Mumbai Police reqesting them to cancel the IPL matches in the Wankhede Stadium.
MDRAG secretary Nikhil Banker said, "In today's situation, we are scared of our health security because of such public gatherings. For health concerns, any public gathering should be restricted, and even IPL should not be allowed."
Additional Municipal Commissioner Suresh Kakani said the authorities are taking strict actions to prevent the epidemic from spreading. "We (the BMC) are not prohibiting or restricting public or mass gatherings yet. We are asking people to take precautionary measures, and are screening those entering Mumbai from affected areas to ensure the epidemic does not spread."
Chennai was the latest entrant to the group seeking postponement of IPL matches. Advocate G Alex Benziger filed a petition in Madras High Court on Tuesday seeking an order in this direction and the the court will hear the petition on Thursday (March 12).
Benziger said in his petition that Coronavirus has no specific treatment yet and several other sporting events across the globe are getting either cancelled or postponed and sought the court to issue an order in that regard to the BCCI.
Earlier, BCCI chief Sourav Ganguly had said that there was no change to the IPL 2020 schedule.