West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has expressed displeasure over BCCI President Sourav Ganguly's decision to call off the India-South Africa ODI series without having 'a word' with her. After the first match at Dharamshala was dismissed due to rain, the remaining ODIs in Lucknow and Kolkata were called off on Friday in view of the novel Coronavirus outbreak.
The West Bengal CM stated that since the match was scheduled to be held in Kolkata, the Kolkata Police should have been informed at least adding that they (BCCI) should have told us a word, nothing else. As reported by news daily, Banerjee questioned BCCI for informing the state after making the decision to call off the ODI series. She also expressed that neither the chief state secretary, home secretary, police commissioner, or anyone else in the government was informed.
As a result of the COVID-19 outbreak, the BCCI also postponed the upcoming IPL edition to April 15 instead of March 29, to avoid any mass gathering while the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) on Friday confirmed that England's tour of Sri Lanka has been called off. The confirmation comes after Corona-affected cases emerged in the island nation.
Speaking to the media after the IPL Governing Council meeting on Saturday, Sourav Ganguly assured that the Indian Premier League would take place after April 15 and that it will be truncated due to the delayed start. Sourav Ganguly said that the safety of the players was kept in the minds while taking a call and hence all the domestic games have been postponed.
Sourav Ganguly insisted that the tournament had been postponed for the moment to April and that the franchise owners had been informed of how the league can function in the future and what steps were taken by the Board. The decisions would be reassessed every week, said Sourav Ganguly adding that the safety of the players was of the utmost importance.
The BCCI along with all the IPL franchises have reiterated BCCI’s stand of putting the safety and well-being of fans, athletes and employees as a priority. The board will continue to monitor and work closely with the Government of India, state governments and other state regulatory bodies to decide on the future course of action in the best interest of public health.