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Safety first: KKR co-owner Shah Rukh Khan over postponement of IPL amid Coronavirus outbreak

Safety first: KKR co-owner Shah Rukh Khan over postponement of IPL amid Coronavirus outbreak

India Blooms News Service | @indiablooms | 14 Mar 2020, 07:55 am

Mumbai/IBNS: Bollywood superstar and Kolkata Knight Riders co-owner Shah Rukh Khan, who was present at a meeting with the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) over the postponement of the beginning of Indian Premier League (IPL) amid the Coronavirus outbreak, on Saturday said the safety of players, spectators and the cities which will host matches were of utmost importance.

After the conclusion of the meeting, Khan tweeted, "Wonderful to meet all the Franchise owners ‘off the field’ so to say. The meeting by @Bcci and @ipl was to reiterate what all of us feel...safety first of the spectators, players management & cities we play in. All directives of the health agencies & govt to be followed.."

"Hope the spread of the virus subsides & the show can go on. BCCI & team owners in consultation with the govt will keep a close watch & decide the way fwd in the health interest of ever1. Lovely 2 meet every1 & then sanitise ourselves repeatedly.." Khan added.

BCCI secretary Jay Shah issued a statement which reads, "The BCCI along with all the IPL franchises have reiterated BCCI’s stand of putting safety and well-being of fans, athletes and employees as a priority.

The board will continue to monitor and work closely with Government of India, state governments and other state regulatory bodies to decide on the future course of action in the best interest of public health."

He added, "The BCCI and all its stakeholders are committed to providing a safe and healthy environment for everyone involved in our great sport and the nation."

In the meeting, which was chaired by BCCI president Sourav Ganguly, owners of all IPL franchises were present. 

The BCCI on Friday announced the deferment of the tournament from Mar 29 to Apr 15. 

Shah on Friday issued a statement which reads, "Issuing a statement, BCCI secretary Jay Shah said, "The BCCI is concerned and sensitive about all its stakeholders, and public health in general, and it is taking all necessary steps to ensure that, all people related to IPL including fans have a safe cricketing experience.

The BCCI will work closely with the Government of India along with the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and all other relevant Central and State Government departments in this regard." 

The 13th edition of IPL became uncertain first after the Indian government suspended all visas, except the diplomatic, official ones, till Apr 15 as no foreign player would be able to play in the mega tournament.

As many as 60 international players are likely to play in the 13th edition of the tournament.

Meanwhile, the Delhi government has said it will not allow any IPL match to be held in the national capital this year as a preventive measure.

The announcement was made by Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia.

Several former cricketers have spoken in favour of suspending IPL over the outbreak of the Coronavirus, which has been declared as "pandemic" by the World Health Organisation (WHO).

India's first World Cup-winning captain Kapil Dev told media, "IPL will be played in future as well and it should be played. But for the moment, nothing is more important that people's lives."

"Carrying on with IPL is not a pragmatic idea at the moment," former Indian cricketer Atul Wassan told News 18.

Regarding the hosting of IPL and other sporting events, Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) spokesperson Raveesh Kumar on Thursday said, "Our view is that this is a decision to be taken by the organisers. No specific recommendations have been sought or made by MEA regarding hosting IPL or any other sporting event in India."

In India, 83 people including 10 cured have been infected while two people have died. 

(Image Credit: IBNS File)