Ever since the Board of Cricket in India (BCCI) announced the schedule for the first phase of the upcoming edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL), cricket fans across the globe have begun placing bets on their favourite teams. The opening match between Chennai Super Kings (CSK) and Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) has already raised the excitement as it pits two of the biggest cricketers Virat Kohli and MS Dhoni against each other.
But, amid all the hullabaloo, IPL's upcoming season has been denied the star-studded opening ceremony that was earlier being used to kickstart India's cash-rich T20 tournament. The Committee of Administrators (CoA), headed by Vinod Rai, has decided to call off the opening ceremony in a bid to pay homage to the slain CRPF personnel who lost their lives in the dastardly Pulwama terror attack on 14th February.
In a touching gesture, the CoA has also announced that the budget allocated for the glitzy opening ceremony will now be donated to the families of the Pulwama attack martyrs. "We will not have any inaugural function for the IPL and the money budgeted for that goes to the martyrs' families," CoA chairman said.
Amid a huge backlash following the ghastly terror strike, the CoA took the decision during a meetting on 22nd February. The committee was also expected to take a call on India's proposed boycott of Pakistan at the ICC World Cup in England & Wales. However, with the Indo-Pak scheduled for 16th June, the CoA deliberated on the matter but did not take any position for now.
"The 16th of June is very far away. We will take a call on that much later and in consultation with the government,' Rai said after the meeting.
BCCI writes to ICC regarding its concerns & commitments ahead of ICC events including World Cup. Concerns include security of Indian players, officials, fans. BCCI in its letter urges the cricketing community to sever ties with countries from where terror emanates. #PulwamaAttack pic.twitter.com/Wg2hepTrsk— ANI (@ANI) February 22, 2019
"In an e-mail to the ICC, we have expressed our concerns about the terrorist attack that has taken place. We are telling them that security of players and match officials should be appropriately taken care of. And number two, we must sever ties with nations from which such terrorism emanates. We will express our concern on an appropriate forum," Raid said.