The eight Indian Premier League (IPL) franchises have called off their respective pre-tournament camps till further notice, three days after the COVID-19 pandemic forced a suspension of the cash-rich event from March 29 to April 15.
Royal Challengers Bangalore on Monday (16th March) deferred their training camp, which was scheduled to begin on March 21, due to the outbreak of the novel coronavirus in the country.
Three-time champions Mumbai Indians, Chennai Super Kings as well as Kolkata Knight Riders have already cancelled their camps.
"Keeping in mind the health and safety of everyone involved, the RCB Training Camp scheduled to start on the 21st of March has been deferred until further notice. We request everyone to follow the guidelines provided by the Health Ministry and stay safe," RCB tweeted.
The RCB outfit is led by Indian cricket team skipper Virat Kohli.
The BCCI last Friday suspended the IPL following government-imposed travel restrictions and refusal by three states to host any matches owing to the pandemic that has so far claimed more than 6,000 lives globally while infecting over 1,60,000 people.
India has so reported 114 positive cases for COVID-19 with two deaths.
Three-time winners Chennai Super Kings had suspended their camp on Saturday, after which their talisman Mahendra Singh Dhoni left the city.
The franchise owners are hoping that in case the IPL starts on April 15, the state governments, which have denied permission for matches, will be ready to give the green light should the situation improves.
No headway at IPL owners' tele-conference
No headway was made during Monday's tele-conference by the eight IPL franchise owners as the situation in the past 48 hours has not changed much in the wake of the novel coronavirus pandemic in the country as well globally.
All foreign visas have been put on hold till April 15 while BCCI president Sourav Ganguly has hinted that a "truncated IPL" could be a possibility with a minimum 17 days already lost.
"Nothing concrete was discussed in today's meeting (con-call). It was just a follow up meeting. The situation has not changed in 48 hours, so talking about hosting the IPL is still pre-mature," an IPL franchise owner told PTI on conditions of anonymity.
"We have to wait and watch. We will keep doing these con calls on a weekly basis to take stock of the situation," he said.
Among the six to seven options that are there in case the situation improves by April 15, one is dividing the teams into two groups with top four qualifying for the knock-outs.
Also there are suggestions of increasing the number of double headers in a curtailed time or having matches at three or four centres in order to limit travel.
The possibility of having the matches in empty stands also remains open for the BCCI.