With the Government of India advising adequate caution following the detection of coronavirus cases in India, the Indian Premier League, which is due to begin from March 29 till May 24, may have to deal with possible requests to defer or postpone it. The 13th season (13, in itself, a highly superstition-prone number) begins in Mumbai’s Wankhede stadium between Mumbai Indians and last year’s winners Chennai Super Kings .
With a potential coronavirus threat looming ahead, it could end up playing spoilsport since open stadiums with sneezing carriers can turn out to be a public health nightmare, good cricket or not.
The virus, COVID-19, is an air-borne communicable one and as seen in China, Iran and Italy spreads in no time. On Tuesday, the Ministry of Health detected 6 suspected case and quarantined them at Delhi’s Safdarjung Hospital. As a precautionary measure, the Ministry of External Affairs has restricted tourists from countries where the virus has spread. The Government has also asked people to avoid the crowded places as there could be more chances of catching the virus.
What happens to the @IPL in a #CoronavirusOutbreak world ? Everyone I know who is a crazy stadium variety fan said they aren’t going anywhere near a stadium.
The government needs to put regulations in place to avoid situations unfolding- not look to see how to fix after. @BCCI
— Nivedith Alva (@nivedithalva) March 3, 2020
In light of the above facts, isn’t it time the BCCI think up a plan to control carriers from entering stadiums and ensuring cricket lovers aren’t left to risk?
Similarly, what about the health of players in India and those coming in from outside and their health and their ability to catch the disease?
Or will it be better if the BCCI just reschedules the whole jamboree right now instead of waiting for disaster? Remember IPL season 2 had to be shipped lock-stock and barrel to South Africa because the pursuit of T20 cricket and business interests couldn’t wait for the Lok Sabha 2009 elections to get over.
What precisely does the world’s richest cricket board have in mind for its viewers in India and abroad, and the players coming in, with the possibilities of a coronavirus emergency at hand?