t was quite different and unusual scenes at the Sydney Cricket ground today for the 1st ODI of Chappell-Hadlee trophy between Australia and New Zealand, there was not a single spectator in the ground. Normally, the ground has a capacity of more than 45K, but today it was empty. Along with the blue sky, the stadium was also looking blue with empty chairs. And this was not because of any normal reason, it was a precaution taken by the Australian government to ban any public gathering of more than 500 people. I am pretty sure by now you must have guessed the reason for this precautionary step. You are right, it’s due to Corona or COVID-19 virus outburst in Australia and the world.
Yesterday US President Donald Trump suspends all travel from Europe to the USA. New Zealand government tightened their entry restrictions for travellers coming from Italy and other affected countries. The Indian government banned all international travellers for 1 month. Italy is under lockdown. And this is not restricted to these countries, it’s pretty much similar situations all over the world. Not only the outbreak has affected the global economy but it has started affecting sports, public events all over the world and movie releases.
Every day a new celebrity or famous person is being tested positive and added to the list of affected people. Saying so at the same time many of them are getting cured and coming back to normal. Today evening it was confirmed one of Australian MP was tested positive, and one of NZ MP was with him last week for a meeting.
After an NBA player tested positive, the NBA decided to call off its rest of the season. Football matches are happening behind closed doors without any spectators. Sports events are postponed or cancelled. With IPL soon to start this is not looking good I must say. Tomorrow i.e., on 14th March IPL governing committee is scheduled to meet and decide the future of IPL for this year. In the past IPL was moved out of India due to elections, but this time that option is not available as there is no country or place in the world which is not affected by the virus.
The latest addition to the list of sports events getting affected was the opening F1 Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne which was cancelled at the last minute after 1 of McLaren’s team member was tested positive. Today evening NZ time the news came about Australian pace bowler Kane Richardson to miss the first ODI for being tested for the virus. Australian women’s cricket tour of South Africa is being called off too.
Overall its a very critical situation for the world right now as it’s getting to a point of panic, where it’s becoming harder and harder to control the spread of the virus. It started from mainland China, but China have taken some drastic measures to control them and the numbers for new infection has drastically gone down for them.
The South African men’s team’s tour to India continues after the first ODI in Dharamsala was washed out on Thursday. But the remaining two matches will be played behind closed doors in Lucknow and Kolkata as confirmed by BCCI.
Indian governments decision to stop international travellers to come in the country till mid of April might affect the IPL in a major way. If international players are not allowed to come in the country then it becomes really tough for the teams to play the IPL and achieve the balance in the team. That is one of the reasons why the team owners are not happy with the government’s decision. Even though business-wise they are not happy but they know the decision is required to be taken. There are also talks of IPL matches being played without any spectators, but not confirmed.
Frankly speaking, it’s a very hard time for all of us. Not only there is a lot of uncertainty but there is also a looming cloud of economical slowdown and this spread getting out of control.
I would want all my readers to be safe and vigilant. Keep your knowledge up to date with the latest news updates from a reliable source. Please make sure the news you are hearing is true and not a rumour. Please let’s all follow some basic steps to do your part to stop the spread:
- Wash your hands regularly for at least 20 seconds
- Avoid doing the handshake, as many all over the world have already started following, start doing “Namaste”, good old Indian style of hello
- If you or anyone in your family have any symptoms please avoid going in public and try to self isolate and inform your doctor
- Avoid going to the doctor’s clinic directly, try talking to them on a phone so even they can take precaution before providing you with assistance.
We all have to come together and try to stop the spread.
Stay safe out there!!
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