The upcoming season of Indian Premier League (IPL) is set for a delayed start in wake of the coronavirus pandemic that has engulfed the world.

“The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has decided to suspend IPL 2020 till 15th April 2020, as a precautionary measure against the ongoing Novel Corona Virus (COVID-19) situation,” BCCI said in a media release on Friday. “The BCCI is concerned and sensitive about all its stakeholders, and public health in general, and it is taking all necessary steps to ensure that, all people related to IPL including fans have a safe cricketing experience.”

“The BCCI will work closely with the Government of India along with the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and all other relevant Central and State Government departments in this regard,” the statement read.

The IPL was originally slated to get underway from March 29 with defending champions Mumbai Indians taking on Chennai Super Kings at the Wankhede Stadium.

While the picture over the season seems to have cleared, there is still no clarity over the participation of overseas players. “Yes, we have been informed that the IPL will now start from April 15, but what we need clarity on the availability of the foreign players. The IPL loses its charm if we don’t have the four foreigners in the teams. After all, they are just as integral a part of the teams as the Indian stars,” a franchise official told IANS.

Delhi government had already shut the doors on IPL saying no sporting events will be held in the national capital.

The ongoing ODI series between India and South Africa has also been affected by the coronavirus with the second and third matches to be held behind the closed doors as part of measures to contain the spread of the virus.