IPL 2021 suspended after multiple players test COVID positive
BCCI announced all players will be provided safe passage to their homes amid surging COVID-19 cases
The BCCI (Board of Control for Cricket in India) Tuesday announced that IPL (Indian Premier League) 2021 has been postponed indefinitely with immediate effect. The decision was taken during an emergency meeting with the IPL Governing Council after a number of players and support staff of several franchises have tested positive for COVID-19.
In a statement issued on IPL’s official website, the BCCI affirmed that the decision was taken keeping the safety, health, and wellbeing of all players and other stakeholders in mind.
“The BCCI does not want to compromise on the safety of the players, support staff and the other participants involved in organising the IPL,” the statement read.
The apex cricket body further noted that all players and staff members will be sent back to their families. The BCCI assured it will ensure all possible efforts to arrange safe and secure passage for all participants of the tournament to their homes.
“These are difficult times, especially in India and while we have tried to bring in some positivity and cheer, however, it is imperative that the tournament is now suspended and everyone goes back to their families and loved ones in these trying times,” the Board added.
The BCCI thanked all healthcare workers, state associations, players, support staff, partners, and other stakeholders for their best efforts in organising the IPL 2021 amid the challenging circumstances.
As of now, a total of 29 out of the scheduled 56 matches have been played this season. The last match took place between Delhi Capitals (DC) and Punjab Kings (PBKS) on May 2. On Monday, the 30th match of the season between Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) and Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) was postponed after a number of KKR players tested positive for the disease. As per reports, KKR’s Sandeep Warrier and Varun Chakravarthy tested positive on Monday as COVID-19 breached the IPL 2021 bio-bubble. On Tuesday, Sunrisers Hyderabad player Wriddhiman Saha reported positive before his team’s match against Mumbai Indians (MI), along with DC spinner Amit Mishra.
Speaking about the development, BCCI vice-president Rajeev Shukla maintained that the IPL 2021 was suspended after discussing it with teams and broadcasters. Shukla added that another meeting will take place to decide how to conclude this season’s tournament.
“BCCI has taken a good decision by suspending IPL for now. It will be decided later on when to resume it or reschedule it keeping in mind the COVID situation. It’s in the interest of players & support staff,” the BCCI vice-president tweeted.
IPL chairman Brijesh Patel has also stressed the BCCI will arrange for the safe return of foreign players amid the ongoing international travel ban.
Meanwhile, Delhi Capitals is leading the points table with 6 wins in 8 matches. The season finale was scheduled to take place on May 30.