Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) president Sourav Ganguly on Friday reached Mumbai to convince all the franchises of the Indian Premier League (IPL) to go ahead with the matches behind closed doors amid coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak across the world.
Former India skipper Ganguly will convince the franchises of the lucrative T20 tournament to play matches in front of empty stands as gate money from IPL matches (approximately Rs 4-5 crore per match) is inconsequential and secondary as compared to huge revenue from TV rights.
Meanwhile, the IPL Governing Council will meet on Saturday to explain the franchise owners the financial ramifications of not holding IPL and convince them that holding the matches behind closed doors is the only option.
On Thursday, the Indian government issued a fresh advisory, banning all existing foreign visas — except a few categories like diplomatic and employment — till April 15 in the wake of growing concerns over the spread of coronavirus in the country.
This means, no foreign player will be available for the 2020 edition of the cash-rich league till April 15 due to visa restrictions. The IPL 2020 edition is slated to take place from March 29 to May 24.
Meanwhile, the Sports Ministry has also made it very clear to the BCCI along with other national sports federations that any event that has to be held amid the coronavirus outbreak will take place behind closed doors.
India on Thursday (March 12, 2020) recorded its first casualty from the virus. A 76-year-old man from Karnataka’s Kalburgi died on Tuesday, the state Health Department confirmed the reason for death as COVID-19 on Thursday. The man had returned to Karnataka from Saudi Arabia about 10 days ago and died in the Kalburgi district on Tuesday.
The total number of confirmed cases of coronavirus in India is 76.
The coronavirus was recently declared a global ‘pandemic’ by the World Health Organization. The virus outbreak, which was first reported in December 2019 from Wuhan city of China, has so far affected over 100 countries and claimed the lives of more than 4,600 people and has affected more than 1,32,000 persons globally.