New Delhi | Jagran Sports Desk: The Board of Control for Cricket in India on Friday announced that the remaining two One Day Internationals (ODIs) between India and South Africa scheduled to be played in Lucknow and Kolkata on March 15 and March 18 were called off as the country's sports calendar continued to go haywire because of the global pandemic.

"With the IPL being postponed, it only made sense that at this point of time, this series is also called off. The country is facing a serious pandemic," a top BCCI official said as quoted by PTI.

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The first ODI between India and South Africa in Dharamsala was washed out without the toss. The players of both the teams reached Lucknow today before the decision was taken by the BCCI.

"The South African team will come to Delhi and leave by taking at the earliest available flight," the official added.

The matches were earlier planned to be held behind closed doors due to the government directive, which asked for sporting events to be shut for fans in view of the pandemic.

However, the BCCI later issued a statement to say that the series will be rescheduled at a later date. "Cricket South Africa will visit India at a later date to play three One-day Internationals. The BCCI-CSA will jointly work out the revised schedule," Board Secretary Jay Shah said as reported by PTI.

Earlier in the day, the BCCI also postponed the Indian Premier League (IPL) till April 15 in view of the COVID-19 outbreak. The annual T20 cricket extravaganza was scheduled to start from March 29 in Mumbai with a match between Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings.

"We have decided to suspend IPL 2020 till April 15, as a precautionary measure against the Novel Corona Virus (COVID-19) situation," ANI quoted BCCI saying in a statement. The cricket board said that the decision to postpone the event was taken over the "concern and sensitivity towards stakeholders and public health in general."

The Delhi government had also said that it will not host IPL matches in the national capital in its bid to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

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In India, the total number of confirmed coronavirus cases reached 81 on Friday, with 1 death reported so far. The government on Wednesday also cancelled all visas, except for a few official categories, till April 15 in the wake of the growing scare. Several states are also placed under partial shut down, with schools, colleges and cinema halls being closed till 31st March.



(With PTI Inputs)

Posted By: Talib Khan