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Cricket, football and hockey hit by coronavirus cancellations in Indian subcontinent

Karachi King's Babar Azam is clean bowled by Islamabad United Muhammad Musa (unseen) during the T20 cricket match between Karachi King's and Islamabad United at the National Cricket Stadium in Karachi on March 14, 2020. (Photo by Asif HASSAN / AFP) (Photo by ASIF HASSAN/AFP via Getty Images)

Professional cricket events in India, including the Indian Premier League and BCCI domestic matches, have been postponed as measures to tackle the spread of the coronavirus in the country.

The start of the IPL was last Friday pushed back from March 29 until at least April 15, by the Board of Control for Cricket in India. The board said it was taking the step to ensure that “all people related to IPL including fans have a safe cricketing experience” and that it was working with Indian authorities on its response to the epidemic.

On Saturday, the BCCI met with IPL franchise owners in Mumbai to discuss how the epidemic would affect the upcoming season. The BCCI was reported to have presented the franchises with several options, including playing a curtailed season.

Meanwhile, the BCCI and Cricket South Africa agreed to reschedule their one day international series that was taking place in India. The first game in the series was called off due to bad weather, and the teams were set to play two more fixtures. The CSA team will now visit later in the year to play three ODIs.

The BCCI also postponed until further notice all other domestic cricket competitions, including the Paytm Irani Cup, Senior Women One-Day knockout, Vizzy Trophy, Senior Women One-Day Challenger, Women Under-19 One-Day knockout, Women’s U19 T20 League, Super League and knockout, Women U19 T20 Challenger Trophy, Women Under-23 knockout, and the Women’s U23 One-Day Challenger.

In other news, the All India Football Federation has suspended all football activities from March 15 until March 31. The suspension covers matches from the Hero I-League, 2nd Division, youth leagues, and other national competitions.

The Pakistan Super League T20 cricket tournament is holding its remaining 2020 season games behind closed doors. The measure was introduced last Friday. The Pakistan Cricket Board had already advised teams to avoid handshakes with fans and urged fans not to approach them for autographs and selfies.

The England and Wales Cricket Board has summoned home its team from a planned tour of Sri Lanka, and its players who were taking part in the Pakistan Super League. England were in Sri Lanka for a two-test series. English players competing in the PSL included Moeen Ali, James Vince, Samit Patel, Liam Dawson, Alex Hales, David Malan, Chris Jordan, Jason Roy, Tymal Mills, and Tom Banton.