Coronavirus scare: Plea in Madras HC against IPL 2020

Coronavirus scare: Plea in Madras HC against IPL 2020

APublic Interest Litigation (PIL) was filed in the Madras High Court on Tuesday, seeking a cancellation of the Indian Premier League's 13th edition due to the coronavirus outbreak in India. The cash-rich T20 tournament is scheduled to be held between March 29 and May 24.

The PIL, filed by advocate G Alex Benziger, is likely to come up before a division bench comprising Justices MM Sundresh and Krishnan Ramaswamy on March 12.

This comes just 2 days after the Maharashtra Health Minister confirmed that discussions are on in the government on whether to postpone the IPL due to the growing number of cases in India.

"As on date, as per the website of the World Health Organisation, there was no specific medicine or to prevent or to treat the COVID-19," the petitioner said.

According to the petitioner, the coronavirus was spreading all over the world rapidly and creating a huge epidemic disaster. The petitioner said he had sent a representation to authorities not to allow the BCCI conduct IPL T20 cricket matches. As there was no response, he filed the present plea, the petitioner added.

Meanwhile, Karnataka Medical Education Minister K. Sudhakar has written a letter to the Centre seeking advice on what needs to be done about the IPL matches that will be played in Bengaluru.

"I have written to the Centre saying there are IPL matches scheduled to be held in Karnataka, and that Maharashtra has already taken a decision in this regard. We have asked for the Centre’s guidance on what action we should take," Karnataka Medical Education Minister K. Sudhakar said.

More than 50 people have been contracted the virus in India with Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, Rajasthan, Haryana, Jammu & Kashmir, Punjab and Ladakh being the states affected so far.

Majority of the IPL matches will be played in 7 of the affected states in India over the course of two months, starting with the opener between Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings at the Wankhede stadium on March 29.

"It's on...and BCCI will take all protection (against coronavirus)," Ganguly said when asked how the board was dealing with the coronavirus outbreak.

There have been suggestions about holding the IPL behind closed doors as the matches will be available on television as well as streamed live on digital platforms.

However, a senior BCCI official said that having the IPL behind closed doors is not an option.

The problem with IPL is that all franchises more or less have fan engagement activities, which is a part of their sponsorship commitments.

It is still not clear whether franchises will curtail the number of fan engagement programmes that they organise during the course of the tournament.