Dubai: The question mark over hosting the 13th edition of Indian Premier League on time, in light of the Coronavirus scare, refuses to go away with more concerns being raised from different quarters on the wisdom of going ahead with the showpiece event. The IPL is scheduled to be held from March 29 to May 24 across nine venues of the country.
A Public Interest Litigation (PIL) was filed in the Madras High Court on Tuesday, seeking a cancellation of the Indian Premier League’s 13th edition due to the coronavirus outbreak in India. The PIL, filed by advocate G. Alex Benziger, is likely to come up before a division bench comprising Justices M.M. Sundresh and Krishnan Ramaswamy on March 12 (Thursday).
A news agency report says Karnataka Medical Education Minister, K. Sudhakar, has written a letter to the Centre seeking advice on the modality of staging the IPL matches scheduled to be played in Bengaluru.
“I have written to the Centre saying there are IPL matches scheduled to be held in Karnataka, and that Maharashtra has already taken a decision in this regard. We have asked for the Centre’s guidance on what action we should take,” Karnataka Medical Education Minister K. Sudhakar said.
Earlier on Monday, Maharashtra’s health minister Rajesh Tope had first raised the subject with the Chief Minister about the possibilities of postponing the event in light of the pandemic reaching India - which has reported 50 cases so far.
The president of Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) President, Sourav Ganguly, reiterated two days back that the IPL is ‘‘on schedule” with tough screening protocols at the venues - though the final call is expected to rest with the Indian government.
Meanwhile, the BCCI have issued an elaborate list of dos and dont’s ahead of hosting a three-match ODI series against South Africa from Thursday, which is likely to be repeated during the IPL as well.
“The BCCI medical team has been monitoring the current coronavirus COVID-19 situation. All the players, team support staff, state associations have been briefed about the standard guidelines issued by WHO as well as the Ministry of Health & Welfare of Government of India,’’ a release from the board said.
The BCCI has also issued a mandate to the airlines, team hotels, state associations and medical teams at venues (Dharamsala, Lucknow and Kolkata) about the thorough sanitization of all the facilities before and during teams’ use, education of all staff members about the do’s and don’ts for prevention of COVID-19 transmission and continuous monitoring to ensure that the protocols are strictly followed.