Virus stops play India-SA series called off, IPL deferred until April 15 -
Virus stops play India-SA series called off, IPL deferred until April 15
Posted 14 Mar 2020 12:20 PM

Source : Tribune

The coronavirus outbreak in India has caused the One-day series between India and South Africa to be called off, while the IPL has been deferred until April 15.

The two remaining matches of the India-South Africa ODI series, scheduled to be held in Lucknow and Kolkata, were called off after the visiting players were reported to have expressed their unwillingness to continue following the rising number of Covid-19 cases in India.

The South Africans will fly back to their country as soon as possible, according to the Indian cricket board (BCCI). The first ODI of the series, scheduled in Dharamsala yesterday, was washed out due to rain, and the two teams reached Lucknow today.

“Cricket South Africa will visit India at a later date to play three One-day Internationals. The BCCI-CSA will jointly work out the revised schedule,” a BCCI statement said, adding: “The South African team will come to Delhi and leave by taking the earliest available flight.”

BCCI had yesterday announced that the Lucknow and Kolkata ODIs would be played behind closed doors with no public attendance. This decision was taken in view of the Indian government’s directive which said that steps should be taken to ensure that “no public gathering takes place in any sporting event”.

A board official said that the South Africans had expressed their unwillingness to continue the series. “The South African team was unwilling to take any further part in the series due to rising number of positive cases in India,” a BCCI official told PTI. “The players seemed to be in panic mode and wanted to go back home at the earliest.”

Incidentally, less than an hour before BCCI announced the decision to call off the series, it had sent out practice schedules for the two teams for Saturday: India’s cricketers were to have an optional training session from 10am to 1pm, while South Africa were scheduled to train after 2pm.

Cricket South Africa CEO Jacques Faul said: “Our view is that this decision is both necessary and a precaution that had to be taken in the interest of cricket and the sustainability of the game.” — With agency inputs.

IPL Postponed

Earlier in the day, BCCI had announced that the 13th season of the IPL — scheduled to begin on March 29 — had been deferred until April 15. The decision was taken by the BCCI top brass led by its president Sourav Ganguly and secretary Jay Shah and the top management of the IPL. The postponement of the IPL had become inevitable after the Indian government suspended all visas granted until April 15 and announced that travellers arriving from seven virus-hit countries would be quarantined for 14 days. Following this, the participation of 60-odd overseas players in the IPL had become very doubtful.

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