New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: Amid rising cases of Coronavirus in the country, the government of India has ordered that upcoming international cricket fixtures to be played in empty stadiums, Reuters said in a report. The news comes a day after the Ministry of Health and family welfare imposed bans on several foreign visas and urged Indian citizens not to visit any virus affected country till April 15 to contain the spread of COVID-19.

With the confirmed cases of Coronavirus mounting to 73 and no deaths reported in the country, India has been least damaged as compared to other parts in Asia, Europe, Middle East and North America. However, experts fear that it would be difficult to handle the situation in case there is a spike in infections.

The country's sports secretary on Thursday said that it wanted the Indian cricket team's matches should be played in empty stadiums-- which will the first of its kind in a country where cricket is a religion.

The chief ministers of the two states where India is scheduled to play matches against proteas this month have asked people to avoid gathering, RS Jhulaniya to Reuters, adding, "Matches may go on without spectators."

IPL could be played behind closed doors

Brijiesh Patel, governing council chairman of IPL, the country's cash-rich T20 tournament, told Reuters that the organisation would meet on Saturday to discuss all possibilities regarding the tournament, including visa issues for oversees players and playing matches in empty stadiums.

As per a report from The Times of India, Maharashtra state cabinet on Wednesday and a call was made to ban the sale of tickets for the upcoming at Wankhede Stadium to prevent crowd gathering.

"The move is more of a precaution to stop the virus from spreading," a source told the Times of India.

IPL 2020 is scheduled to begin on March 29.

Tourist and business travel has dipped sharply and visa ban will take inactivity to an all-time low, Reuters quoted Chetan Gupta, General Secretary of the Association of Domestic Tour Operators of India quoted as saying.


(with Reuters inputs)

Posted By: James Kuanal