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India postpones IPL start, suspends domestic cricket over coronavirus outbreak

The start of the Indian Premier League Twenty20 tournament has been postponed until April 15 as a precautionary measure against the spread of the coronavirus, Indian cricket board President, Sourav Ganguly said on Saturday (March 14).

The Board of Control for Cricket in India had confirmed on Friday (March 13) that India’s home one-day international series against South Africa has been called off ahead of the second of three matches that was scheduled to be played in Lucknow on Sunday (March 15).

The 13th season of the eight-team IPL had been scheduled to start with a match between defending champions Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings on March 29.

The cash-rich IPL, featuring celebrity owners and top business houses, draws the world’s top cricketers. As in previous years, the franchise-based competition was set to run for seven weeks with the final on May 17.

The IPL’s brand value has soared over the years since its 2008 launch and grew to an estimated $6.8 billion in 2019, according to New York-based corporate finance advisory firm Duff & Phelps.

More than 134,500 people have been infected globally and more than 5,000 have died because of the flu-like virus.

Sport events have been either cancelled or postponed globally in recent weeks.


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