New Delhi, March 13: All sporting activities, including the Indian Premier League (IPL), attracting a large crowd turnout have been banned amidst the coronavirus outbreak, announced Delhi government on Friday (March 13).
"Sports activities, seminars, conferences, we have decided to shut them. No sports event including IPL would be allowed in Delhi until the next order. Coronavirus is spreading, we have decided to maintain social distance, IPL is a big event, many people come from various corners, I would also like to appeal to the people," Deputy Chief Minister of Delhi, Manish Sisodia, told reporters here.
"If BCCI decides to play the tournament in a different format it is up to them. Our intent is just to control the gathering. We will implement this for at least a month," he added.
Earlier in the day, the sources within the BCCI said that the board has invited all eight franchises for the IPL's governing council meeting on March 14.
Amidst coronavirus fears, the cricketing board has mainly two options-- either postpone IPL or play it behind closed doors. The Central government has suspended all visas to India till April 15 as part of measures to contain the spread of the pandemic which has put IPL's scheduling in doubt.
The Sports Ministry has also asked all National Sports Federations (NSFs), including the BCCI to follow the Health Ministry's guidelines.
As per the guidelines issued, it has been asked to avoid large public gatherings. Due to the visa regulation, sources within the IPL's governing council said that the foreign players would not be available for the tournament.
"Yes, foreign players will not be available. We will discuss this and other issues at our governing council meeting scheduled for March 14," a source in IPL governing council had told ANI.
The 13th edition of IPL is scheduled to commence from March 29, with Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings meeting at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai for the first match.
World Health Organisation (WHO) on Wednesday had declared the coronavirus outbreak a 'pandemic' and expressed deep concern. The coronavirus disease was first detected in Wuhan in China's Hubei province, in late December, and has since spread worldwide.
More than 127,000 people have been infected with COVID-19, with over 4,700 having died and 68,000 recovered.