Sourav Ganguly: IPL very much on, measures taken to tackle coronavirus

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The Indian Premier League (IPL) is “very much on schedule”,” BCCI President Sourav Ganguly told PTI on Friday, asserting that all measures will be in place to tackle the rapidly-spreading novel coronavirus threat which has wreaked havoc on sporting calendars globally.

The glitzy T20 event, featuring both Indian and international stars, gets underway on March 29 in Mumbai. India’s coronavirus patient count currently stands at 31, including 16 Italian tourists. Internationally, the deadly outbreak has so far killed more than 3,300 people and infected nearly 100,000 in about 85 countries.

“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 asserted.

“County teams are travelling all over the world. They are travelling to Abu Dhabi, UAE to play. So there is no problem,” he added.

Asked about the precautionary measures to ensure that players and fans are not affected, Ganguly said a medical team is thrashing out the specifics.

“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.

“The medical team is already in touch with the hospitals so that everything is available. We will do what the doctors say. They are the professionals.

“All medical issues will be addressed by the medical team. Every tournament will go on,” he added.

The coronavirus outbreak has severely impacted the global sporting schedules with one of the disease epicentres, Italy, banning fans from venues till April.

Olympic test events have been postponed or cancelled in Japan, another badly-affected country.

There are growing concerns about the fate of the Tokyo Olympics in July-August despite the International Olympic Committee’s assertion that the quadrennial showpiece will go ahead as planned.