12 Mar

MUMBAI: Maharashtra state will allow the upcoming Indian Premier League (IPL) matches to be played in the state only if stadiums are off-limits to spectators in the wake of increasing Covid-19 cases in the country as reported today by India’s Economic Times.

The Indian state Cabinet meeting on Wednesday (11 March) unanimously agreed that the state should host IPL matches only if the organisers bar spectators from viewing the match in the stadium, people privy to the development said. The state government has not officially announced this at time of publication.

Addressing a press conference later in the day, chief minister Uddhav Thackeray said no decision has been taken on IPL, but added that there was a need to avoid crowded places. He also said the IPL organisers are willing to organise matches without spectators.

The IPL 2020 tournament is currently scheduled to begin on March 29. Its governing council is likely to meet this weekend to take a call on the event in the light of increasing Covid-19 scare.

Maharashtra has so far confirmed 10 cases in the state and the government does not want to allow large-scale gatherings. Even the birth centenary celebrations of Maratha warrior king Chhatrapati Shivaji are being denied permission in many parts of the state as they could attract crowds.

John Stephenson


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