India’s ODI series against South Africa cancelled amid virus scare


Mumbai: India’s ODI series against South Africa stands cancelled, the IPL has been pushed back by a fortnight (April 15) while there were postponements galore in other sports as the COVID-19 pandemic threw the country’s sporting calendar into unprecedented disarray.

A day after the sports ministry ordered that fans be locked out of sporting events in a desperate bid to halt the deadly coronavirus spread, an under-pressure BCCI finally relented and on Friday postponed the start of its most glitzy event from March 29 to April 15.

In case of a closed-door event and restricted public appearances by players, the franchises are bound to lose out on a lot of sponsorship money as well as the gate collections.

Star Sports, which has paid a whopping Rs 16,347 crore for five years (nearly Rs 5500 crore per year) for broadcast rights, might re-negotiate the deal with the BCCI in case of a curtailed IPL.

Hours later, the Board also decided to call off India’s remaining two ODIs against South Africa in Lucknow (March 15) and Kolkata (March 18) citing the pandemic, which has led to over 5,000 deaths globally. The BCCI later issued a statement to say that the series will be rescheduled.

Other sports were also in closure mode to ensure compliance with government guidelines.

Badminton stars slam parent body

In another development, top shuttlers from across the world hit out at the Badminton World Federation for taking the novel coronavirus outbreak “too lightly” and putting them at “risk” by going ahead with its international tournaments.


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