The coronavirus outbreak has not only brought the world to a standstill, it has also created a scenario where the fate of sporting activities in the next six months hangs in balance. While the 2020 Tokyo Olympics has already been postponed and the start of IPL 2020 suspended and the Asia Cup is also likely to be given a skip this year.
Speaking to news agency IANS, a BCCI official said that gauging from how things stand at present, it is almost safe to say that this edition of the Asia Cup might not see the light of day. In fact, the tournament had greater significance this year as it would be the perfect training ground for the Asian team going into the ICC T20 World Cup which is still scheduled to be played as per plan at the end of the year in Australia.
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“Though it doesn’t seem right to be talking about cricket schedules as of now, we can safely assume that Asia Cup isn’t a possibility. The extent of the impact of the Covid-19 is unknown as of now. The job losses across sectors and the impact on the economy is also unknown.
“The sports organisation are also hit deeply and there will be some tough measures once some semblance of normalcy returns. There are liabilities and difficulties that the Board faces and it will be a new kind of a challenge to deal with them,” the official said.
In fact, when contacted, host association Pakistan Cricket Board also confirmed that there isn’t much information to be given with regards to the status of the tournament which was to be played in September.
“We cannot throw light on when the next Asian Cricket Council meeting will take place and on decisions around the Asia Cup and its fate,” the PCB official said.
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Sporting events across the world have been postponed or called off and India Prime Minister Narendra Modi has currently called for a 21-day lockdown to fight the outbreak of the coronavirus. The outbreak also saw the cancellation of the twin T20Is that Bangladesh were to hold on March 21 and 22 between the Asia XI and World XI.
A decision on the fate of the Indian Premier League is also expected around mid-April as per Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju. While he did say that the final call lies with the BCCI, he also made it clear that at present the safety of the citizens was priority and the directives of the government needed to be abided by.
First Published: Mon, March 30 2020. 15:09 IST