Mumbai Indians captain Rohit Sharma (left) with Chennai Super Kings skipper MS Dhoni (right) before the 2019 IP final. Image credit: CricketAddictor

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on Friday decided to postpone the 13th Indian Premier League (IPL) until April 15 due to coronavirus outbreak.

The cash-rich tournament was scheduled to begin from March 29 with defending champions Mumbai Indians clashing with last year’s runners-up MS Dhoni-led Chennai Super Kings.

Fans were eagerly waiting for the MI vs CSK clash as former Indian captain MS Dhoni was to return to the 22-yards after having featured in India’s semi-final clash in the world cup against New Zealand last year.

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The BCCI decided to postpone the event after the Delhi government decided to ban the tournament in the wake of COVID-19 outbreak.

Informing about the suspension of the event, BCCI in an email said, “The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has decided to suspend IPL 2020 till April 15, 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 email added.

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The BCCI will work closely with the Indian government along with the ministry of sports, health and all other relevant Central and the state government departments in this regard,” the email added.

The Centre, meanwhile, on Wednesday cancelled all visas, except for a few official categories, till April 15.

The BCCI will meet the IPL team owners on Saturday before the start of the IPL Governing Council meeting and the way forward will be discussed then.

The franchises have clearly stated that they are ready to go ahead with games minus the fans but they want the foreign players at any cost.

“Presence of the foreign players make IPL a cricket carnival,” the franchises have said earlier clearly.

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