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Either postpone IPL or play it behind closed doors: Maha health Minister

Rajesh Tope, Maharashtra’s Health Minister

MUMBAI, MAHARASHTRA- Maharashtra’s Health Minister Rajesh Tope on Thursday said the cabinet has said that either the Indian Premier League (IPL) should be postponed or it should be played behind closed doors.

“The cabinet discussed the matter regarding IPL and we are of the view that big gatherings should be avoided. We have two options, IPL should be done without spectators or else matches should be postponed,” Tope told reporters.

The Central government has suspended all visas to India till April 15 as part of measures to contain the spread of coronavirus and this has put IPL’s scheduling in doubt.

The Health Ministry has also issued guidelines and has asked all federations to avoid large public gatherings.

Earlier in the day, sources within the IPL’s governing council had said that the foreign players would not be available for the tournament due to the visa restrictions.

“Yes, foreign players will not be available. We will discuss this and other issues at our governing council meeting scheduled for March 14,” a source in IPL governing council had told ANI.

The 13th edition of IPL is scheduled to commence from March 29, with Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings meeting at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai for the first match.

World Health Organisation (WHO) on Wednesday had declared the coronavirus outbreak a ‘pandemic’ and expressed deep concerns.

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