New Delhi: India skipper Virat Kohli has called on the world community to “stay safe and vigilant” amid the ongoing coronavirus outbreak which has been now been declared as a pandemic by the World Health Organisation (WHO).
“Let’s stay strong and fight the COVID19 outbreak by taking all precautionary measures. Stay safe, be vigilant and most importantly remember, prevention is better than cure. Please take care, everyone,” tweeted Kohli on Saturday.
Many sporting events, including that of cricket, have been affected globally across the world due to the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak.
India’s ongoing ODI series against South Africa has been postponed after the first match was washed out in Dharamsala. Also, the Indian Premier League – originally scheduled to start from March 29 – has been postponed till April 15.
BCCI President Sourav Ganguly said the “first priority is safety” of the people and that’s why the board has taken the decision to defer the IPL. “Let’s stick to the postponement (at the moment). The first priority is safety, so we postponed the games,” Ganguly said on Friday
Meanwhile, former Indian cricketer Subramaniam Badrinath said the BCCI has taken the right decision to suspend cricketing activities.
“Unpleasant times yes, but common man safety should be preceded before anything else IND vs SA and IPL schedule being postponed, right action was taken by the BCCI,” Badrinath said in a tweet.
Meanwhile, former Indian batsmen Sunil Gavaskar and V.V.S. Laxman said the IPL 13 should be held in empty stadiums if that serves everyone’s best interests.
The Sports Ministry has already issued an advisory asking national federations, including the BCCI, to follow the Health Ministry’s guidelines and avoid large gatherings in sports events.
India have recorded more than 80 positive cases so far with two people losing their lives to the disease.