The BCCI today announced that the 2021 edition of Indian Premiere League has been postponed due to several players testing positive for the highly infectious COVID-19 virus. The decision was taking unanimously by the BCCI and IPL in an emergency meeting.
After 29 games played without a hiccup, the 30th game of RCB VS KKR was called off on March 3rd. The match was called off after 2 players from the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) camp – Varun Chakravarthy and Sandeep Warrier tested positive for the COVID-19. After the suspension, the Indian masses were polarized with some taking to Twitter with the hashtag #CancelIPL while some opinioned that tournament should continue.
UPDATE: The Indian Premier League Governing Council (IPL GC) and Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) in an emergency meeting has unanimously decided to postpone IPL 2021 season with immediate effect.
— IndianPremierLeague (@IPL) May 4, 2021
A day after the KKR VS RCB game was called off, it was announced that Chennai Super Kings VS Rajasthan Royals would also be postponed due to the fact that Lakshmipathy Balaji, the bowling coach of CSK, also testing positive.
Although the game between SRH (Sunrisers Hyderabad) and multiple-time champion Mumbai Indians (MI) was all set to kick off today, (May 4). But later news came that SRH wicketkeeper Wriddhiman Saha also tested positive for the virus. Along with him, Delhi Capitals veteran spinner Amit Mishra has also tested positive for COVID-19.
With increasing COVID-19 cases in franchise camps despite precautions like bio-bubble and bubble-to-bubble travel, the BCCI along with IPL committee met for an emergency meeting where it decided to postpone the tournament for indefinite time.
“The Indian Premier League Governing Council (IPL GC) and Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) in an emergency meeting has unanimously decided to postpone IPL 2021 season, with immediate effect. The BCCI does not want to compromise on the safety of the players, support staff and the other participants involved in organising the IPL. This decision was taken keeping the safety, health and well-being of all the stakeholders in mind,” said the statement from IPL.
In its statement, the IPL acknowledged and thanked the healthcare workers, team support staff, partners, sponsors along with other stake holders that tried their best to organize the tournament.
The IPL administration in its statement also said how the tournament tried bringing some positivity and cheer in the doom and gloom that the COVID-19 has caused, but the IPL stated that its priority to suspend the tournament and have the players reach safely to their families.
“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 IPL statement read.
“The BCCI will do everything in its powers to arrange for the secure and safe passage of all the participants in IPL 2021,” it added.
Earlier today, the Press Trust of India reported that the IPL Chairman Mr. Brijesh Patel had confirmed the postponing of the tournament. “The tournament has been suspended indefinitely. We will try to conduct the event in the next available window but this month is unlikely,” the PTI reported.
The bio-bubble, which was the only shield cricket players and their staff had against the virus have seen multiple cracks forming. With the news of Varun Chakravarthy, Amit Mishra, Sandeep Warrier and L Balaji getting tested positive, the BCCI and the IPL administration was under pressure as to how to go about the tournament.
Earlier during the first leg of the tournament, several players such as Adam Zampa, Kane Richardson, A.J. Tye, R. Ashwin, Liam Livingstone threw the towel and decided to skip the tournament as the COVID-19 crisis continued raising havoc in India.
It should be now interesting to see how the BCCI manages to ship back hundreds of overseas players that have travelled from their country to play. Although no official word has come from the council, its statement said how, “the BCCI will do everything in its powers to arrange for the secure and safe passage of all the participants in IPL 2021.”
Current team standings on IPL Table