In light of the recent Pulwama attack, the Committee of Administrators (CoA) chief Vinod Rai on February 22 said that this year’s Indian Premier League (IPL) will not have any opening ceremony. The money due to be spent on the ceremony will instead be donated to families of the martyred.
The opening ceremonies of the IPL are usually glitzy affairs with performances from Bollywood stars being the major highlight. However, the CoA has decided to scrap the glamorous event as a sign of solidarity towards the families of the martyrs.
The IPL is set to begin on March 23 with last year’s champions Chennai Super Kings taking on the Royal Challengers Bangalore in Chennai.
The Pulwama attack took place on February 14 and its effects are being strongly felt even in the cricketing world. There have been increasing calls for India to boycott their match against Pakistan at the upcoming Cricket World Cup in England. Former players like Harbhajan Singh and Mohammad Azharuddin have called for a boycott while a few such as Sunil Gavaskar have pointed out that such a move doesn’t benefit India in any way.
The Rai-led CoA is yet to take any stand on India playing Pakistan at the World Cup but have said that they will approach the ICC with an appeal to ban Pakistan due to the country acting as a terrorist hub.
“We are in talks with the government. No decision has been taken on the June 16 match. We are expressing two concerns to the ICC. We will ask for more protection for players during the World Cup and we will tell cricketing nations to sever ties with any nation that is a terrorist hub,” said Rai following a meeting of the CoA.