COVID-19: India-SA ODI series called off

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New Delhi, March 13 (IANS) The three-match ODI series between India and South Africa has been called off in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. The first match in Dharamsala on Thursday was washed out and the second and third, slated to be held in Lucknow and Kolkata respectively, were to be played in empty stadiums.
It was announced on Thursday that the second ODI at the Ekna Stadium in Lucknow and the third ODI at the Eden Gardens at Kolkata will both be played without fans in the stands. However, sources in the know of things told IANS on Friday that the series itself will now be called off.
The news comes on a day when the Board of Control for Cricket in India announced that it has deferred the upcoming season of the Indian Premier League to April 15. The first match of the season was scheduled to be played on March 29 at the Wankhede Stadium between Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings.
An advisory from the Sports Ministry on Thursday asked all national federations to ensure any sporting event in India must be conducted without spectators amid the coronavirus outbreak.
“To deal with the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19), the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare has issued advisories and advised the State Governments to take appropriate action under the Epidemic Diseases Act,1897.
“You are advised to adhere to the advisories issued by the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare and ensure that no public gathering takes place in any sporting event. In the event, the sporting event cannot be avoided, the same could be done without allowing gathering of people, including spectators,” the Sports Ministry said in a letter to the Indian Olympic Association (IOA), all National Sports Federations and the BCCI.