Dhaka: A major cricket celebration in Bangladesh this month to mark 100 years since the birth of the country's founding president has been postponed because of the coronavirus epidemic.
The Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) on Wednesday shelved next week's series of "Mujib 100 events" to commemorate the centenary of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman's birth, including a concert by Oscar-winning Indian music director AR Rahman and two "Asia v Rest of the World" Twenty20 cricket internationals.
"The decision to postpone the events was based on the general cautionary advice for the public from the government and international health agencies," BCB chief executive officer Nizamuddin Chowdhury said.
"We regret the inconveniences but at the same time hope that everyone concerned will understand our position as this is a major health issue across the globe and we cannot leave anything to chance," he said.
BCB president Nazmul Hassan told reporters they would try to host the event at a later date.
Bangladesh has so far reported three coronavirus cases, which prompted Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and the country's health authorities to advise people to avoid mass gatherings.
The government also cancelled a rally of 100,000 people to mark the birth centenary of Rahman who led the country to independence.
The Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi had been scheduled to attend the rally.
India's Virat Kohli, South Africa's Faf du Plessis, England's Jonny Bairstow were among players expected to feature in the matches on March 21 and 22.
The International Cricket Council had granted both the matches Twenty20 international status.