The COVID-19 pandemic has been a major cause of suspensions of the sporting events across the world. Cricket is also one of it as most of the countries have refused to play to ensure safety of the players and domestic leagues also have been suspended or held behind closed doors.
England was the first team to opt out of their scheduled Sri Lankan tour that consisted of two Tests. The news came from the UK government and the ECB when they were playing their tour match against the Board President's team. The teams agreed to no handshake before the start, but later events saw the suspension of the tour.
BCCI as well had proposed a no handshake policy for the South African tour of India. Later on, after the full abandonment of the first ODI at Dharamsala because of rain, BCCI had decided to conduct the tournament behind closed doors, but the remaining two ODIs went on to be suspended. Meanwhile, the start of IPL 2020 that was scheduled on March 29 was in jeopardy.
The Sports Ministry of India, the Ministry of Health and Welfare, BCCI and IPL governing committee put forward a discussion about the start of the IPL. Amidst all this, the government-imposed visa restrictions that pushed back arrival of the overseas players to April 15, the restriction on visas raised more complications on the start of IPL. Henceforth, the start of the marque league was postponed to April 15th.
Another major series that was affected because of the epidemic was the Chappell-Hadlee one-day series. Though the series had a head-start with all the three ODIs being a closed-door contest and one of them was played as well. There was panic in the Australian outfit when Kane Richardson had a sore throat and was sent for scans, but the tests turned out to be negative. On Saturday the rest of the two ODIs and the three match T20I series was cancelled because of the travel restriction imposed by the New Zealand government due to the pandemic.
South Africa women’s team were supposed to host Australia in three matches ODI and T20I series starting from March 22nd. However, that tour was postponed before its commencement due to the epidemic.
The most awaited series between the World XI and Asia XI that included superstars like Virat Kohli, Lasith Malinga, KL Rahul, Tamim Iqbal from Asia XI and Chris Gayle, Faf du Plessis, Jonny Bairstow, Kieron Pollard from World XI was also postponed because of the globally spread pandemic. The two match T20I series that was to be held as the 100th anniversary celebration of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, referred as the father of nation was to be conducted on March 21 and March 22. The AR Rahman concert, which also was to be a part of the anniversary celebrations had to be postponed.
However, Pakistan Board have gone on to continue with the rest of the Pakistan Super League, but it will be held closed-doors. Few of the other domestic tournaments and associate nation series are being held under closed doors or has been postponed. Netherlands tour of Namibia has been cancelled, World Cup League 2 matches in Florida also were postponed. West Indies decided to suspend cricket in all their regions from March 16 for minimum of 30 days. BCCI has put a hold on Irani Trophy 2019/20 and other domestic tournaments.
Chennai Super Kings who had started their practice at MA Chidambaram stadium were also forced to suspend their sessions because of the epidemic till further notice. The former Indian captain MS Dhoni who hadn’t played competitive cricket since the defeat against New Zealand in the 2019 World Cup, hit the practice session early. Suresh Raina, another CSK veteran joined the team early.