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IPL 2020: David Warner’s visa application rejected; Sunrisers captain may miss the tournament

Bengaluru, March 13: David Warner may miss a good chunk of the IPL 2020 as the Indian authorities denied his visa request, though it could not be ascertained whether it was because of the coronavirus scare or any other technical reason. As it is foreign players’ participation in IPL 2020 is restricted after the Government of India suspending the issuance of business visas, among a few other types of visas, till April 15. This edition of the IPL is set to begin on March 28 at Mumbai with defending champions Mumbai Indians taking on last year’s runner-up Chennai Super Kings.

The overseas players in the IPl falls under the business visa (sports) category. The news came as a jolt for Sunrisers Hyderabad as Warner, who is currently playing for Australia in the ODIs against New Zealand, was reinstated as their captain in place of Kane Williamson. Warner had played IPL 2019 for the Hyderabad franchise after missing the IPL 2018 following his ban from international cricket for his involvement in the Cape Town ball-tampering scandal. Warner was the leading run-getter in IPL 2019, amassing 692 runs from 11 matches. This time the Hyderabad team is entering the tournament with a new set of coaching staff too after severing ties with long-time coach Tom Moody.

Former England coach Trevor Bayliss has been appointed as coach with former Australian wicket-keeper batsman Brad Haddin named as his assistant. The conduct of the IPL 2020 itself is shrouded in uncertainty after the Coronavirus outbreak. The World Health Organisation (WHO) has branded the virus spreading as pandemic and several sporting events have been either cancelled or postponed in the wake of the disease. At the time of writing this, Coronavirus cases in India have risen to 73 with the first death reporting from Kalaburgi, Karnataka on Thursday (March 12). The IPL Governing Council is due to meet on Saturday (March 14) to discuss the way ahead for the tournament and it is massive in the context of India government issuing guidelines to avoid mass gathering, including sporting events.