Soon after BCCI announced the deferral of the upcoming edition of the IPL, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Friday informed that the cricket board has communicated that the matches will be held behind closed doors even if the league starts at April 15. She added that state government has received a directive from the central government stating that public gatherings should be avoided. Earlier in the day, BCCI had announced its decision to postpone the beginning of IPL season to April 15 which was set to begin on March 29 amid the Coronavirus scare.
Furthermore, Banerjee added that if any sporting event cannot be avoided then it has to be conducted without any public gathering and the state will also keep a check on the players whether they are safe.
An advisory released on Friday afternoon quoted BCCI Secretary Jay Shah and said, "The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has decided to suspend IPL 2020 till 15th April 2020, as a precautionary measure against the ongoing Novel Corona Virus (COVID-19) situation.
The BCCI is concerned and sensitive about all its stakeholders, and public health in general, and it is taking all necessary steps to ensure that, all people related to IPL including fans have a safe cricketing experience.
The BCCI will work closely with the Government of India along with the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and all other relevant Central and State Government departments in this regard."
In view of the novel Coronavirus scare, the three-match ODI series between India and South Africa has been called off. After the first ODI in Dharamshala was washed off due to rain, the second and third ODI in Lucknow and Kolkata respectively has been called off by the BCCI in consultation with the government. On Friday, the England Cricket Board (ECB) also postponed England's tour of Sri Lanka amid the virus scare. The BCCI has also issued an advisory stating that it will follow all the government guidelines irrespective of what the IPL franchise owners opine.