The Indian Premier League was on Tuesday suspended indefinitely after multiple COVID-19 cases were reported in its bio-bubble, the Board of Control for Cricket in India confirmed.
The announcement came after Sunrisers Hyderabad’s wicketkeeper-batsman Wriddhiman Saha tested positive for COVID-19 along with Delhi Capitals’ spinner veteran spinner Amit Mishra.
“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 wellbeing of all the stakeholders in mind,” the BCCI said in a media release.
The Board said they will arrange for the safe return for all the overseas players, who were part of IPL 2021.
“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 BCCI will do everything in its powers to arrange for the secure and safe passage of all the participants in IPL 2021.”
IPL chairman Brijesh Patel said they will look to hold the T20 league in the next available window.
“The tournament has been suspended indefinitely. We will try to conduct the event in the next available window but this month is unlikely,” Patel told PTI.
The 14th edition of IPL, which started on April 9, ran smoothly for about a month before KKR’s COVID-19 cases caused the initial jitters on Monday.
There was cause of concern in Delhi too as a few groundsmen at the Feroz Shah Kotla Stadium tested positive even though DDCA chief Rohan Jaitley asserted that “none of the groundsmen on duty” were among the infected.
Just days before this, three Australian players had pulled out of the league, citing COVID-19 concerns amid a devastating second wave of the global pandemic that has overwhelmed the medical infrastructure of the country.
The 2020 IPL had also been held in a bio-secure bubble in the UAE and at that time, infections were only reported before the start of the tournament.