While the whole world is going through a traumatic condition for the Coronavirus outbreak, it has left a major impact on Indian sports and sportsmen. The 13th edition of the Indian Premier League, which was due to start on March 29, has already been deferred till April 15 in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak, which has infected 110 people in India and has claimed two lives as well.
BCCI President Sourav Ganguly has already stated that IPL 13 will be a truncated one now. He also said that they will be accessing the situation every week and only then will decide when to organise this year's edition of the cash-rich league.
We Have Been Asked To Work From Home: BCCI Functionary
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has now decided to ask its employees to work from home from Tuesday onwards in the wake of the coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak in the country.
With the World Health Organization (WHO) terming the disease as a pandemic, and the number of cases rising in the country, the Indian cricket board has asked its employees to avoid heading to the BCCI headquarters in Mumbai.
Speaking to IANS, a BCCI functionary said that it seemed the best possible remedy in the current scenario considering that public transport is the mode of travel for most office-goers in the city.
"As you know, trains are the most availed mode of transport in the city and considering the present situation, it was felt that we better work from home till further notice. Hopefully things will improve in the near future and normalcy would return," the functionary said.
The situation is such that almost all sporting activities have been indefinitely suspended in the country and even the 13th edition of the Indian Premier League could be a non-starter this year even though the BCCI is keeping no stones unturned to make it happen.
Looking to ensure citizens' safety, the government had on March 11 cancelled all visas, except for a few official categories, till April 15 in the wake of the growing coronavirus scare.
It has been decided that all existing visas, except diplomatic, official, UN/international organisations, employment and project visas, would remain suspended till April 15 amid growing coronavirus cases in India.
The Sports Ministry also followed suit by making it clear that all sporting events should be cancelled in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak. If it is unavoidable, it should be held behind closed doors so as to avoid mass gatherings.
Cricket Stars Share Their Concern Over Coronavirus Pandemic
IPL franchise Chennai Super Kings (CSK) has urged people to exercise caution and take all precautions against coronavirus, which has so far claimed over 6,000 lives worldwide.
"Play while you play, work while you work, safety over everything else. Take all precautions against COVID-19," CSK posted on its official Twitter handle on Monday.
Ace India off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin also called on countrymen, especially those living in Chennai, to follow social distancing, a drill which he believes the people in the Tamil Nadu capital are not practising as they either believe summers would curtail the coronavirus or they have faith that nothing will happen to them.
"Let me rephrase it, social distancing doesn't seem to have caught the attention of the people in Chennai yet. The only reason could be their belief in the summer to curtail it or just faith that nothing will happen. #Coronaindia," Ashwin tweeted on Sunday.
Suresh Raina on Monday warned against spreading misinformation related to coronavirus and to follow health advisories. The batsman is expected to be seen next in the postponed 2020 season of the Indian Premier League for the Chennai Super Kings.
"It's very important that we understand the need of social isolation to break the chain, don't spread information from unreliable sources, don't ignore the health advisories & for sure follow the hygiene measures.#coronavirus" he tweeted.
India skipper Virat Kohli called on people to "stay safe and vigilant" amid the ongoing coronavirus outbreak. "Let's stay strong and fight the COVID19 outbreak by taking all precautionary measures. Stay safe, be vigilant and most importantly remember, prevention is better than cure. Please take care everyone," Kohli had tweeted last week.
Earlier, India opener and Mumbai Indians captain Rohit Sharma had posted a video on his social media handles.
"Last few weeks have been tough for all of us and the world has come to a standstill which is very sad to see. The only way we can come to normalcy is by all of us coming together. And we can do this by being a little smart, a little proactive, knowing our surroundings and as and when we get any symptoms inform your nearest medical authorities," said Rohit in the video.
"It's because we all want our kids to go to the school, we want to go to the malls and we all want to watch movies in the theatres," said the Indian opener.
The governments across various states in the country have recommended people to follow social distancing apart from ordering closures of schools, malls, cinema halls in their bid to avoid gatherings.
Hockey India Announces New Dates For National Championships
Hockey India on Monday postponed various national championships for junior and sub-junior (men and women) categories which were to begin from April 10 onwards at different venues spread across the country. The decision was taken by the Hockey India Executive Board following growing concerns around COVID-19 situation in the country.
"Keeping in mind the safety of the players, Hockey India has taken a decision to postpone the annual national championships for junior, sub-junior men and women categories. Although we have announced the new dates, Hockey India will continue to monitor and evaluate the COVID-19 situation and we will be prepared for any scenario. At this moment, we would like to thank the host and member units who have been extremely cooperative to accommodate the request to postpone and are being flexible," stated Hockey India President Mohd Mushtaque Ahmad.
The new dates for various national championships that have been postponed are as follows:
1. 10th Hockey India Junior Women National Championship 2020 (B Div) Ranchi, Jharkhand, India which was scheduled for (10 April to 20 April 2020) will now be held from April 29 to May 09.
2. 10th Hockey India Junior Men National Championship 2020 (B Div) Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India which was scheduled for (15th April to 26 April) will now be held from May 14 to May 21.
3. 10th Hockey India Sub Junior Women National Championship 2020 (B Div) Hisar, Haryana, India which was scheduled for (13 April to 24 April) will now be held from May 03 to May 14.
4. 10th Hockey India Junior Men National Championship 2020 (A Div) Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India which was scheduled for (10 April to 17 April) will now be held from May 19 to May 30.
5. 10th Hockey India Junior Women National Championship 2020 (A Div) Ranchi, Jharkhand, India which was scheduled for (18 April to 28 April) will now be held from May 07 to May 17.
6. 10th Hockey India Sub Junior Women National Championship 2020 (A Div) Hisar, Haryana, India which was scheduled for (22 April to 3 May) will now be held from May 12 to May 23.
7. 10th Hockey India Sub Junior Men National Championship 2020 (B Div) Imphal, Manipur, India which was scheduled for (26 April to 3 May) will now be held from May 28 to June 04.
8. 10th Hockey India Sub Junior Men National Championship 2020 (A Div) Imphal, Manipur, India which was scheduled for (7 May to 17 May) will now be held from June 03 to June 13.
(With Agency Inputs)