India’s cricket board chief Sourav Ganguly speaks to media. File
The Indian Premier League (IPL) franchises are ready to quarantine their foreign players for a period of 14 days if the travel advisories issued by the government calls for the same amid the ongoing coronavirus outbreak.
But first, they are waiting for the authorities to clear the ground for issuance of visa to them. As of now, the government has prohibited entry of people from specific countries and regions till March 31.
The government on Monday issued an advisory expanding compulsory quarantine for a minimum period of 14 days for passengers coming from/transiting through UAE, Qatar, Oman, and Kuwait.
It further prohibited travel of passengers from member countries of the European Union, the European Free Trade Association, Turkey and United Kingdom to India with effect from March 18.
On Tuesday, the government further said that travel of passengers from Afghanistan, Philippines, Malaysia to India is prohibited with immediate effect. These instructions are a temporary measure and shall be in force till March 31 and will be reviewed subsequently.
Speaking to IANS, an official of one of the franchises said that the teams were ready for a scenario wherein foreign players will need to be quarantined for a 14-day period once permitted to fly into the country.
“Yes, the fresh advisory calls for 14-day quarantine for travel from some countries and if the stance remains the same post March 31, that shouldn’t be an issue. If we get a clearance from the government and visas are issued, then quarantining the players shouldn’t be a big deal. In such a scenario, we can fly them into the country in the first week of April and follow the process of 14-day quarantine.
“But first, the foreign players need to be given the visa and that is why we need to wait till March 31 to see what the government decides going forward.”
Earlier, India’s cricket board chief Sourav Ganguly said the IPL will be truncated with the Twenty20 tournament pushed back due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The world’s richest cricket league was postponed Friday, meaning instead of starting on March 29, it will begin on April 15 at the earliest after the Indian government ordered measures against travel and public gatherings.
Considering the current situation, it will not be possible to travel for the series to South Africa as there are players in the team who haven’t had proper training sessions in the last 50-60 days, says official.
Australian cricket star Steve Smith is hoping the Indian Premier League will be held “at some stage” as sports events around the world remain on hold because of the coronavirus.
The global outbreak of coronavirus has ceased all major sporting activities around the world including the indefinite postponement of IPL for the first time since its inception.
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