In contrary to “no threat” claims by an official last time, Maharashtra Health Minister stated that “there is always a possible danger” in holding events such as the Indian Premier League (IPL), which will commence on March 29. This is in regards to the global threat of the coronavirus outbreak that currently impacting the sporting scene.
Earlier this week, Maharashtra Health Minister Rajesh Tope said that “discussion” over IPL postponement is underway. “There is always a danger of spread (of contagious diseases) when people gather in large numbers. Such events can always be organised later. So discussion is on whether to postpone the IPL,” Tope told reporters
IPL Governing Council chairman Brajesh Patel said last time that they are “keeping a tab” on the situation as the spread of the virus is currently uncontainable with 29 confirmed cases in India, including 16 Italian tourists. India is the world’s second-most populous nation. No confirmed coronavirus infection case has been reported in Maharashtra yet.
Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) President Sourav Ganguly had told a media outlet that IPL is “on” and the governing body “will take all protection” against the spread of the disease. According to World Health Organization (WHO), more than 92,000 cases have been confirmed worldwide, reaching 3,110 deaths globally, the vast majority is in China.
The IPL a T20 cricket league of BCCI is considered as the largest media property in India and the most popular cricket tournament in the world. Recently, IPL stands at an all-time high of $5.7 billion in brand value, according to reports. Star Sports has signed$2.55 billion rights that will last for 5 years and revenue will hit the broadcasting giants if the games won’t proceed as scheduled.
“Look Star, as well as BCCI, has got everything insured. I don’t know if there is any specific insurance cover for cancellation due to coronavirus but there is no chance of that happening if I read the situation properly,” Former Delhi Daredevils CEO Hemant Dua explained. He also explained the possible effect and loss of cancelation in advertisement revenues.
Meanwhile, a senior BCCI official confirmed through a media outlet that the board would follow the precautionary measures recommended by the Health Ministry and disseminate these directives to all the stakeholders that include the players, franchises, airlines, team hotels, broadcast crews and everyone else involved in the running of the tournament.
In an attempt to contain the virus, the BCCI through an official confirmed that “every person availing international flights will be screened for coronavirus at the port of entry. That is the biggest health security measure” A Board official also added that “BCCI will strictly adhere to any health advisory that government will issue.”
Recently, a number of sporting events have been affected, including football fixtures in Italy, with Serie A postponing more than five games already. The traditional pre-game handshake in European football was also prohibited. The Tokyo 2020 Olympics is on the verge of cancellation with the increase of cases confirmed in the host nation, but the organizers insist that it will “continue as planned”.
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