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Coronavirus in India: participation of foreign players in IPL in doubt after new visa restrictions | Cricket News

NEW DELHI: No foreign player will be available for this year’s IPL until April 15 due to government-imposed visa restrictions to contain the novel and deadly coronavirus outbreak, a major BCCI source told PTI on Thursday. , casting new doubts on the fate of the event. .

A closed-door IPL seems like a real possibility now, but even a postponement can’t be ruled out since approximately 60 overseas recruits will not be available to pursue their trade, at least in the early stages of the event that will kick off on March 29 in Mumbai. .

“Foreign players who play on the IPL fall into the Business Visa category. According to the government directive, they cannot come until April 15,” a BCCI source told PTI under conditions of anonymity.

The fate of the IPL itself will be decided on March 14 at the event’s Governing Council meeting in Mumbai.

“All decisions will be made by the GC in Mumbai,” said the source.

The government issued a new notice with a ban on all existing foreign visas, except some categories such as diplomatic and employment, until April 15 following new positive cases of new coronaviruses in the country.

India has reported 60 positive cases in the outbreak that has caused more than 4,000 deaths worldwide.

The Home Office manual “Details of Visas Granted by India” says: “Foreigners participating in commercial sporting events in India by contract (including coaches) such as Indian Premier League, Indian Soccer League, etc. for remuneration.

“They can be granted a ‘B-Sports’ Visa with multiple entry facilities for 13 appropriate periods. Said foreign citizen must comply with all legal obligations such as the payment of taxes, etc.”

The BCCI source said the government directive does not specifically exempt those on business visas.

“There is a clear distinction between the employment visa that has been granted an exemption and the business visa. Therefore, it is better that we do not take risks.”

Having the IPL played in empty stadiums is an option being explored, but without foreign players, it will certainly lack the zing that makes it the most successful T20 event in the world.

“The Future Tours program is such that if the IPL is postponed, most foreign players will not be available as after April-May there is no window available. All other teams have bilateral commitments. At best cases, we can close the doors, “said the source.

The Road Safety Legends T20 meeting starting Thursday will be held behind closed doors with matches canceled in Pune due to the eight reported COVID-19 cases in the city.

The governments of Maharashtra and Karnataka are already wary of hosting home games for the Mumbai Indians and the Royal Challengers Bangalore.

Original source