The ongoing Road Safety World Series in Mumbai has been called off following the coronavirus pandemic. Also Read - Football: UEFA Denies August 3 Deadline For Champions League Conclusion

Due to the outbreak of COVID-19 and the escalating number of cases worldwide, the Government of India issued an advisory “to ensure that no public gatherings take place in any sporting event”. The first four matches in the Road Safety World Series saw a tremendous turnout at all venues and huge following and engagement on-air and the digital channels. The popularity of this five-nation T20 series, which is held to create awareness towards road safety in the country, grew with every passing day and tickets for the upcoming matches were sold-out much in advance. To prevent any further scope of a large gathering, the organisers felt that it is apt not to go ahead with the planned matches now. Also Read - Shahid Afridi, Jahangir Khan Come Forward to Help Minorities in Fighting Coronavirus Pandemic

The series features cricketing greats of the likes of Sachin Tendulkar, Brian Lara, Brett Lee, Jonty Rhodes among others. Also Read - Pakistan: Coronavirus Cases Cross 3,000-Mark, Govt Taking Measures to Curtail Its Spread

Spin legend Muttiah Muralitharan along with Marvan Atapattu and Rangana Herath, who were part of Sri Lanka Legends squad, have already flown back home with the rest of the international cricketers set to leave later on Thursday or Friday.

Earlier in the day, the third leg of the league, originally scheduled to be held in Pune from March 14 onwards, was shifted to DY Patil Stadium and was to be played behind closed doors.

The organisers, in a statement, had also promised that those “who have purchased tickets for Road Safety World Series will be refunded online within 7-10 working days.”

Coronavirus has impacted sporting events across the globe with matches either cancelled, postponed or forced to held behind closed doors.

In India, after the health ministry issued an advisory in wake of the coronavirus, the sports ministry has asked all the national federations including the BCCI to avoid large gatherings in sports events.

“We have asked all the NSFs, including the BCCI, to follow the Health Ministry’s latest advisory, which says public gatherings should be avoided in all events, including sporting activities,” Sports Secretary Radhey Shyam Julaniya told PTI.

“The sporting events can go on but the advisory needs to be followed,” he added.