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Coronavirus Scare: Australian Grand Prix Cancelled, IPL Suspended Till April 15

Coronavirus Scare: Australian Grand Prix Cancelled, IPL Suspended Till April 15 1

Bengaluru, NFAPost: The 13th edition of the Indian Premier League has been suspended till April 15 due to coronavirus scare in the country.

The league was scheduled for March 29 kickstart. The BCCI, however, has not disclosed the revised schedule.

Fans are expecting BCCI to change the format of the tournament. It could divide the teams into two groups as was done in initial years.

“The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has decided to suspend IPL 2020 till 15th April 2020, as a precautionary measure against the ongoing Novel Corona Virus (COVID-19) situation,” BCCI Secretary Jay Shah said in a statement.

Shah said the BCCI is concerned about the health of all the stakeholders, including cricket fans.  The board also is keen on working with the Union Government 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.

Earlier, media reports suggested that foreign players would not be allowed to play in the tournament till April 15 due to the suspension of visas to India. The BCCI was working on two options – playing matches to empty stadiums and postponement of the league.

However, many franchises were not keen on the postponement, as they felt the league would lose its sheen in the absence of foreign players towards the end of the business calendar.

Pat Cummins (Kolkata Knight Riders), Glenn Maxwell (Kings XI Punjab), Chris Morris (Royal Challengers Bangalore), Sheldon Cottrell (Kings XI Punjab), Nathan Coulter-Nile, (Mumbai Indians) and Shimron Hetmyer (Delhi Capitals) are some the big foreign names participating in the league.

It remains to be seen, how the operations and logistics stakeholders, react to the change of schedule with loaded chances of holding doubleheader games.

BCCI was expected to lose approximately Rs 4,000 crore and franchise owners ticket revenue, central sponsorships and on-ground sponsorship if the league was called off.

Australian Grand Prix Called Off

Coronavirus Scare: Australian Grand Prix Cancelled, IPL Suspended Till April 15 2

The Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne has been cancelled following McLaren’s withdrawal due to one their team members testing positive for coronavirus.

“Following the confirmation that a member of the McLaren Racing Team has tested positive for COVID-19 and the team’s decision to withdraw from the Australian Grand Prix, Formula 1 and the FIA convened a meeting of the other nine team principals on Thursday evening. Those discussions concluded with a majority view of the teams that the race should not go ahead,” the organisers said.

The organisers are F1, governing body the FIA and Australian Grand Prix Corporation.

“Formula 1 and the FIA, with the full support of the Australian Grand Prix Corporation (AGPC) have therefore taken the decision that all Formula 1 activity for the Australian Grand Prix is cancelled,” they said.

The ticket holders, however, will receive a full refund, they added.

“All parties took into consideration the huge efforts of the AGPC, Motorsport Australia, staff and volunteers to stage the opening round of the 2020 FIA Formula One World Championship in Melbourne, however, concluded that the safety of all members of the Formula 1 family and the wider community, as well as the fairness of the competition, take priority,” the organisers said.

Other big sporting events like the NBA, La Liga, National Hockey League, UEFA Champions League and ISL, across the world, have been called off temporarily.

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