The Indian Archery team will not be taking part in the Asia Cup World ranking tournament after the Archery Association of India withdrew its participation following the threat of Coronavirus in the city of Bangkok. Also Read - ‘Ja Ja Re Coronavirus’: Indian Band Composes COVID-19 Awareness Song With a Rajasthani Folk Touch

The season-opening stage 1 tournament is to be held in the city between March 8 and 15, and even though this would have marked Indian archery’s return to international events following a five-month ban, the risks involved were high. Also Read - IPL 100 Per Cent Possible if Coronavirus Pandemic is Contained by October: Ashish Nehra

“After reviewing the current alarming situation on account of coronavirus and taking into consideration the travel advisories issued by SAI and IOC, Archery Association of India is worried about the health of our team and cannot take any risk under the circumstances,” AAI assistant secretary Gunjan Abrol wrote to World Archery secretary general Tom Dielen, a copy of which is on possession of PTI. Also Read - Covid-19 Warriors: MP Doctor Turns His Car Into a Temporary Home To Protect His Family From Coronavirus

“Hence it has been decided to withdraw the team from the Asia Cup Stage 1 World Ranking Archery tournament to be held in Bangkok from March 7-15.”

As per last week the total number of cases in Bangkok was reported to be 43. India were expected to send a second-string squad for the tournament with ticket bookings and other arrangements taken care of long back and the decision to no longer compete in the event was taken by the AAI after the Sports Authority of India weighed in on the matter.

“As you are aware the AAI always sends its teams to all the events conducted at Bangkok without fail and this time also we were much like to be a part of this event. All the pre-departure arrangements were made to fly on March 7 but unfortunately we are compelled to take this hard decision against our wish,” the letter quoted Abrol as saying.

India’s withdrawal, however, will have no effect on the event and the tournament is expected to go on as per its original schedule.