In a big development, a Board of Control of Cricket in India (BCCI) source confirmed that no foreign player will be available for the upcoming IPL till April 15 due to the visa restrictions imposed by the government in wake of COVID-19 outbreak. This comes two days after a plea had been filed in the Madras High Court seeking a direction to the central government not to allow the Board of Control for Cricket in India to conduct Indian Premier League T20 cricket matches from March 29-May 24 due to the coronavirus outbreak.
According to the petitioner, the coronavirus was spreading all over the world rapidly and creating a huge epidemic disaster.
Earlier, Maharashtra health minister Rajesh Tope had also raised issues stating that large events do get canceled and that “human life has far more value than IPL”. The 13th edition of the IPL is scheduled to kick off on March 29 at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai — defending champions Mumbai Indians will take on last year’s runners up Chennai Super Kings.
However, IPL doesn't happen to be the only sporting event that is facing issues. Globally, sporting events such as the English Premier League clash between Manchester City and Arsenal, and the Indian Wells tennis tournament have been canceled due to fears of the disease spreading. Even bigger than that, the NBA season has been suspended.
Meanwhile, World Health Organisation declared the outbreak a pandemic as the pathogen rapidly spread to more than 121,000 people from Asia, the Middle East, Europe and North America. Speaking to reporters in Geneva, WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus warned of a further rise in the number of cases, the number of deaths and the number of affected countries. Furthermore, the number of positive cases in India has soared up to 67.