The Indian Premier League (IPL) can be held on a later date in view of the spread of the novel coronavirus around the country, Maharashtra Health Minister Rajesh Tope said.

“There is always a possible danger of spread (of contagious diseases) when large numbers of people gather in one place… Such (IPL) events can always be organised later,” Tope told mediapersons.

He also said that discussions are currently on in official circles whether to postpone the IPL, and a decision would be taken and announced shortly.

The minister’s remarks came just over three weeks before the start of the 2020 season of IPL. Defending champions Mumbai Indians are scheduled to host Chennai Super Kings at the Wankhede Stadium on March 29 in the opening match.

Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) President Sourav Ganguly had said on Friday that the IPL will be held as scheduled. “It’s on…and BCCI will take all protection (against coronavirus),” he had said.

Earlier, BCCI President Sourav Ganguly insisted the 13th edition of the Indian Premier League, the IPL 2020, will go ahead as planned and that the board is taking all precautionary measures to ensure a risk-free tournament.

Some of the precautions that are to be advised to cricketers is avoiding physical contact such as handshake with fans. The cases of Coronavirus reported in India as on Saturday, is alleged 31, all of whom have contracted the virus through outsiders. With players expected to come to India from all around the world, it sure increases the risks of the virus spreading further but airports are already performing the screening of all passengers returning or coming from abroad.

“We will take all precautions. I don’t know exactly what the extra measures are. It’s only medical team which will tell us about that. The medical team is already in touch with the hospitals so that everything is available. We will do what the doctors say. They are the professionals,” Ganguly pointed out.