The IPL is scheduled to begin on March 29 with the Mumbai Indians hosting Chennai Super Kings in the season opener, but according to a report in CNBC-TV 18, ticket sales in Maharashtra has been banned by Shiv Sena-led Maha Vikas Aghadi.
The Maharashtra government is understood to have decided on this to stop crowd gathering as a precaution to stop the spreading of the coronavirus.
Speaking to reporters, Maharashtra health minister Rajesh Tope said the state cabinet discussed the issue of coronavirus and IPL matches.
“After discussion we have come to two options: either to postpone matches or to have matches without selling tickets,” he said.
Currently, however, the Road Safety World Series is being played out in Mumbai with cricket legends from India, Australia, West Indies, Sri Lanka and South Africa part of the tournament.
Earlier in the week, the Karnataka government sought the advise of the central government on whether matches should be held in Bengaluru, given the spread of the coronavirus.
“I have written to the Centre saying that IPL matches are scheduled to be held in Karnataka. We have mentioned in the letter that neighbouring Maharashtra has already taken a decision in this regard. We are awaiting Centre’s guidance on what action should be taken,” said Medical Education Minister Dr K Sudhakar said.
Meanwhile, Additional Chief Secretary Javed Akhtar said, “The decision taken by the Maharashtra government will be taken into consideration by us before we make a final call.”
The BCCI president Sourav Ganguly had earlier said that all precautionary measures will be taken so that the players and the spectators don’t get infected with the virus, adding that a medical team is looking at finer details.
“IPL is very much on. Everywhere, the tournaments are going on. England are already in Sri Lanka. South Africa are here. There are no issues,” Ganguly had said.
“County teams are travelling all over the world. They are travelling to Abu Dhabi, UAE to play. So there is no problem,” he added.
“We will take all precautions. I don’t know exactly what are the extra measures. It’s only medical team which will tell us about that,” he said.
“All medical issues will be addressed by the medical team. Every tournament will go on,” he added