The Indian Premier League 2020 has been suspended until April 15 as a precautionary measure amid rising concerns over the pandemic coronavirus.
The T20 tournament was originally slated to begin on March 29 but the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has been forced to postpone the competition after seeking advice from the government of India.
"The BCCI 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," the BCCI media release stated.
Earlier, doubts lingered over the arrival of 60-odd overseas recruits in the country for the IPL following the government's decision to suspend all visas, barring a few categories like diplomatic and employment. This would have kept the foreign players out of action for the first two weeks of the tournament.
Central and state government departments have also expressed their apprehensions over the staging of the IPL prompting the need to cut down the number of venues. This matter is currently under deliberation and would be the focal point of attention in Saturday's meeting of the IPL Governing Council where BCCI bigwigs Sourav Ganguly and Jay Shah will be present.
The Novel Corona Virus (COVID-19) outbreak has drastically impacted several sporting events around the globe, causing the postponement of ATP Tour (Tennis), the UEFA Champions League (Football) and the NBA (National Basketball Association).
Cricket has also been affected, with the India-South Africa ODI series, Australia-New Zealand ODI series and the Karachi leg of the Pakistan Super League being played behind closed doors. The IPL too is expected to be held without spectators.