The start of this year's Indian Premier League has been delayed to 15 April.
The initial start was scheduled for 29 March, but has been moved by two weeks due to the threat posed by the coronavirus pandemic.
The spread of the virus has seen many global sporting events cancelled or postponed, including the Everest Premier League in Nepal, the World XI and Asia XI's T20I series in Bangladesh and the Australian Women's tour of South Africa.
“The Board of Control for Cricket in India 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,” read a statement from the BCCI.
“The BCCI will work closely with the Government of India along with the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and all other relevant Central and State Government departments in this regard.”
IPL without spectators?
The 2020 IPL might take place behind closed doors, like the ongoing ODI series between Australia and New Zealand – and India and South Africa.
“After holding discussions with the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports and the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, the Board of Control for Cricket in India on Thursday announced that the remaining two ODIs of the three-match series of South Africa's tour of India will be played without any public gathering, including spectators,” stated the BCCI earlier this week.
“The World Health Organization (WHO) on Wednesday assessed that Covid-19 can be characterised as a pandemic. The BCCI is making every effort for compliance with the regulatory bodies of the Government of India and ensure the safety of our athletes and valued fans. The BCCI will continue to take guidance from the Government of India and state regulatory bodies.”
The Mumbai Indians are the reigning IPL champions. They have won the title four times. The Chennai Super Kings have won the title on three occasions. The Kolkata Knight Riders have won the IPL twice.