With as many as four players testing COVID-19 positive by Tuesday, IPL 2021 has been suspended with immediate effect after the IPL governing council and BCCI officials met in an emergency meeting on the day.
The news comes right after Delhi Capitals’ Amit Mishra and Sunrisers Hyderbad’s Wriddhiman Saha tested COVID-19 positive. While Wriddhiman has been in isolation since yesterday after testing positive, Mishra tested positive today while Capitals have been in hard quarantine.
“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,” read the official statement by the Indian cricket board.
The statement further read: “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.”
The body further stated that players can go back to their families in these testing times, nullifying rumours that the tournament might shift to Mumbai as a single venue tournament, as rumoured earlier.
“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 statement read.
The cricket body further ensured safe passage of all players and staff back home.
“The BCCI will do everything in its powers to arrange for the secure and safe passage of all the participants in IPL 2021,” it read. “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.”
Earlier on Monday, KKR players Varun Chakravarthy and Sandeep Warrier became the first players to test positive inside the bio-bubble; forcing Monday’s match against Royal Challengers Bangalore being called off. Soon after CSK’s bowling coach Lakshmipathy Balaji and CEO K Viswanathan also returned the same.
This prompted Chennai Super Kings to inform Indian cricket board (BBCI) of their unwillingness to play their next match against Rajasthan Royals, scheduled in New Delhi on Wednesday as per BCCI’s SOP.