With confirmed cases of COVID-19 rising, the Maharashtra Cabinet is likely to discuss the postponement of Indian Premier League (IPL) matches scheduled to be played in the State.
While Health Minister Rajesh Tope said in Nagpur that “events like IPL can always be organised later,” the issue is likely to figure in Wednesday’s Cabinet meeting.
The State government is understood to be contemplating writing to the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), the parent body of IPL, regarding the same. Mumbai is scheduled to host at least eight matches, including the season-opener on March 29 and the final on May 24, during the T20 cricket league’s 13th edition.
While the government is pondering over the possibility of postponement of the IPL, Mumbai is already witnessing another cricket tournament, which is attracting large turnouts. Legends of the game, including the likes of Sachin Tendulkar, Brian Lara, Brett Lee and Jonty Rhodes have been participating in the Road Safety World Series. The five-nation veterans’ T20 league, being played in Mumbai, Navi Mumbai and Pune, is incidentally an initiative of the State transport department.
“The issue is important and we are monitoring it. The Assembly is in session and in case of any decision, the House will be informed first,” said a senior Health Department official.
A senior minister of the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government, said certain sanctions are inevitable to curb the spread of COVID-19. “We have to ensure the safety of people, and impose some restrictions to avoid the spread. The issue might be discussed in the Cabinet meeting and we will come to a decision,” he said.
The Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA) however is continuing with preparations for the marquee clash between Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings on March 29.
“As of now, we have received no directive either from the State government or the BCCI,” said Sanjay Naik, MCA secretary. “We have continued with our preparation and are confident of a good show come IPL.”
(With inputs from Amol Karhadkar)
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