Bengaluru: With the threat of coronavirus across the globe, cricket fans are eagerly waiting to know whether their favourite tournament, the Indian Premier League (IPL), will start as per the original schedule.

The 13th edition of the IPL is set to commence on March 29 in Mumbai with the defending champions Mumbai Indians (MI) taking on Chennai Super Kings (CSK) at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai.

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With coronavirus cases being reported in India too, there is fear among many as to whether it is safe to travel to a cricket stadium to watch IPL matches. However, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has confirmed that the tournament is per schedule as of now.

BCCI president Sourav Ganguly said the Twenty20 tournament will begin on March 29. “It's on...and BCCI will take all protection (against coronavirus),” Ganguly was quoted as saying by India Today.

Also read: Here is full schedule of IPL 2020

Due to coronavirus, several sports events across the world have been postponed or cancelled. The BNP Paribas Open tennis event in Indian Wells, USA, was cancelled on Monday (March 9).

“The Riverside County Public Health Department has declared a public health emergency for the Coachella Valley after a confirmed case of coronavirus (COVID-19) locally. As a result, the 2020 BNP Paribas Open will not take place at this time due to concerns surrounding the coronavirus and the safety of the participants and attendees at the event. This is following the guidance of medical professionals, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), and State of California,” the tournament organisers said in a statement.

“There is too great a risk, at this time, to the public health of the Riverside County area in holding a large gathering of this size,” said Dr. David Agus, Professor of Medicine and Biomedical Engineering at the University of Southern California. “It is not in the public interest of fans, players and neighboring areas for this tournament to proceed. We all have to join together to protect the community from the coronavirus outbreak.”

“We appreciate the proactive stance tournament organizers are taking to ensure public health and safety,” said Martin Massiello, Executive Vice President & Chief Operating Officer, Eisenhower Health.

Despite coronavirus fears, India and South Africa will go ahead with their three-ODI series. The opener starts on March 15 in Dharamsala.