Amid Covid-19 scare, ODI and IPL series to be played in isolated grounds
In view of the deadly Coronavirus or COVID-19 making a steady mark across the globe, the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports has directed all national sports federations and the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to hold matches behind closed doors. Following the instructions, the remaining two matches from the ongoing India and South Africa ODI series will be played on empty grounds.
As per the ministry’s advisory, the Uttar Pradesh Cricket Association and Cricket Association of Bengal and the respective state governments have been directed to take appropriate action under the Epidemic Disease Act, 1897.
The advisory read, “You are advised to adhere to advisories issued by the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare and ensure that no public gathering takes place in any sporting event. In the event the sporting event cannot be avoided, the same could be done without allowing the gathering of the people, including spectators.”
Similarly, the 13th edition of Indian Premier League 2020 (IPL-2020) too will be played behind closed doors starting March 29. The league matches were originally to be played in M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru, Feroz Shah Kotla Ground in Delhi, Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium in Hyderabad, Holkar Cricket Stadium in Indore, Sawai Mansingh Stadium in Jaipur, Eden Gardens in Kolkata, IS Bindra Stadium in Mohali, Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai, Cricket Association’s International Stadium in Pune, and MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai.
The Cricket Australia too on Friday announced that the three Australia-New Zealand ODI match series would go ahead but without fans cheering at the ground. Australia and New Zealand will play two matches in an empty Sydney Cricket Ground today and on Sunday while the third match scheduled for next Friday will be played at Hobart's Bellerive Oval.
Meanwhile, Australian fast bowler, Kane Richardson has been quarantined as a precautionary measure after reporting a sore throat and samples sent to laboratories for testing. He was recently back from South Africa with the ODI squad. Richardson’s test reports are awaited.
Football Premier League club Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has also tested positive for Coronavirus, as a result, the entire squad has been placed under self-isolation.