IPL cricket 2020: start to global showpiece delayed due to coronavirus!

Reports yesterday spoke of a possible delay to the start of the hugely popular Indian Premier League (IPL). Today, the prognosis is very different. The scheduled start to the IPL has been disrupted because of the now-global pandemic, COVID-19.

Read: IPL cricket could be played without fan attendance – reports

Organisers have confirmed that instead of starting on March 29, the tournament has been moved to April 15. The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) said the move was a precautionary measure and that it was taking all necessary steps to ensure that all people related to IPL including fans have a safe cricketing experience.

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The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) said the move to postpone the Indian Premier League was a precautionary measure (Image: BCCI).

England players including Ben Stokes and Jos Buttler are due to take part in the tournament. Yesterday, it was announced that Australia’s one-day internationals against New Zealand – which begin on Friday – will be played behind closed doors. Other England exports signed up to swing their arms as part of the year’s IPL includes Sam Curran; Jason Roy; Chris Jordan; Harry Gurney; Eoin Morgan; Tom Banton; Tom Curran; Moeen Ali and Jonny Bairstow are all also signed up to play in the IPL.

England start a Test series against West Indies on June 4 with the express request that players be back in the country by May 26. As at the time of publication, it is unknown whether the tournament deadline of May 24 will be moved. The Indian government has travel restrictions in place as a result of the virus, which was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO) this week.