Lucknow Misses Its Date With An India-South African Thriller

LUCKNOW || After the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the Novel Coronavirus threat a global pandemic and there continues to be a global lockdown of sorts to avoid the virus from spreading, an immediate fallout is being seen in the cricketing world.

Not only have the dates of the IPL been pushed back for greater safety, but even the three-match ODI series between India and South Africa has also taken a beating. After the match at the Eden Gardens, even the one at the Ekana stadium in Lucknow has been called off by the BCCI following consultations with stakeholders.

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has decided to suspend IPL 2020 till 15th April 2020, as a precautionary measure against the ongoing Novel Corona Virus (COVID-19) situation. The decision to not have the matches has been taken at the backdrop of the first match in Dharamsala being a complete washout.

Until a few days back there was abuzz that the match will be played but minus an audience with a 50,000 capacity stadium empty. BCCI, following consultations with stakeholders, has decided to call off the series. BCCI remains highly concerned and sensitive about all its stakeholders, and public health in general, taking all necessary steps to ensure all people related to IPL including fans enjoy a safe cricketing experience.

The BCCI meanwhile has assured that the Government of India will work in close coordination with the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare along with other relevant Central and State Government departments.

In other developments, the IPL 2020, scheduled to begin from March 29 is suspended till April 15 to curtail the growing threat. The UP government had remained concerned over the hosting of the match in the state, where the number of COVID – 19 affected has reached 11.

The impact of the Coronavirus scare can be gauged by the fact that not many tickets were sold for the match. Given the match cancelled, there have been serpentine queues outside the stadium for a complete refund.

–Arijit Bose/Lucknow

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