IPL 2021 Postponed Indefinitely Due to COVID-19

IPL 2021 Postponed Indefinitely Due to COVID-19

The Indian Premier League (IPL) has been postponed indefinitely due to multiple cases of coronavirus among teams and support staff. The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) held an emergency meeting with the IPL Governing Council (GC) earlier today to discuss the concerns. 

“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 wellbeing of all the stakeholders in mind,” a media release said.

While a handful of international players had left their respective biosecure bubbles just as the tournament began, the BCCI has said that it will ensure a safe passage for players. It’s worth noting that the United Kingdom (UK) and Australia have placed a ban on their own citizens returning from India.

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“The BCCI will do everything in its powers to arrange for the secure and safe passage of all the participants in IPL 2021,” the release added, though specifics weren’t provided.

The first cases were reported from the Kolkata Knight Riders camp as mystery spinner Varun Chakravarthy along with Sandeep Warrier tested positive for COVID-19. It is reported that Chakravarthy may have contracted the virus when he was sent for a shoulder scan using the IPL’s green channel. 

This was followed by Chennai Super Kings bowling coach Lakshmipathy Balaji and a support staff contracting the virus. Though CSK Chief Executive Officer Kasi Viswanathan initially tested positive, subsequent tests confirmed that he was negative.  

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Earlier today, news broke out that the Sunrisers Hyderabad team went into isolation as its wicketkeeper Wriddhiman Saha tested positive for COVID-19. 

“The BCCI would like to thank all the healthcare workers, state associations, players, support staff, franchises, sponsors, partners and all the service providers who have tried their best to organise IPL 2021 even in these extremely difficult times,” the statement on the IPL website said.

Though there was speculation that BCCI and IPL GC would decide to shift all games to Mumbai since it has four playable grounds, the sudden spike in positive cases among players appears to have been the straw that broke the camel’s back. 

Officials are clear that the tournament doesn’t stand cancelled, but postponed. However, this is likely going to be a scheduling nightmare given that the 2021 cricketing calendar is tightly packed beyond June.

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