Chennai: India off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin on Wednesday (March 18) said the planet is challenging the human race as fear continues grip the world over the spread of novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

Coronavirus cases are rising across the globe. In India, the number of people affected by the virus has crossed 140, according to latest reports.

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In the midst of coronavirus fears, all cricket matches have been suspended in India. The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) deferred the 13th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL 2020) till April 15. It was to start on March 29 in Mumbai.

Across the world, many sports events have been either cancelled or postponed due to coronavirus. Yesterday (March 17), French Open tennis tournament was postponed to September. It was to begin in May.

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India Test spinner Ashwin raised concerns over what is happening in India and other parts of the globe. He took to the micro-blogging website Twitter to urge people to stay safe and answer “difficult questions”.

The 33-year-old wrote, “The planet is challenging the human race, asking us if we can be responsible towards the society, it’s asking us if we can be honest and confine ourselves for another persons sake. face some very difficult questions to answer. Stay safe and answer the questions #coronavirusindia (sic).”

Earlier, Ashwin had said his hometown Chennai had not taken to “social distancing”. He had written, “Let me rephrase it, social distancing doesn’t seem to have caught the attention of the people in Chennai yet. The only reason could be their belief in the summer to curtail it or just faith that nothing will happen. #Coronaindia  (sic).”

Ashwin, who captained Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) in the previous two seasons of IPL, will now play for Delhi Capitals (DC) after he was traded by the franchise.