The writing was on the wall. A day after World in Sport reported the postponement of one of the matches due to the Fear of Covid-19, the Indian Premier League (IPL) was suspended indefinitely on Tuesday. The Cricket Control Council in India (BCCI) and members of the league’s board of directors called an emergency meeting in which they decided to suspend the tournament with immediate effect.
The announcement came after Wriddhiman Saha, wicket keeper and batsman for Sunrisers Hyderabad, tested positive along with veteran Delhi Capitals spinner Amit Mishra. A day before, Chennai Super Kings Bowling coach L Balaji as well as Kolkata Knight Riders bowlers Sandeep Warrier and Varun Chakravarthy also had positive results.
“The Indian Premier League Board of Directors (IPL GC) and the Cricket Control Council of India (BCCI), in an emergency meeting, unanimously decided to postpone the IPL 2021 season, with immediate effect ”, indicates an official press release. “The BCCI does not want to compromise on the safety of players, support staff and other participants involved in the organization of the IPL.
This decision was taken with the safety, health and well-being of all stakeholders in mind, ”he added. “These are tough times, especially in India, and while we have tried to bring some positivity and joy, it is imperative that the tournament is now put on hold and everyone returns to their family and loved ones. in these difficult times, ”the league said in a statement.
IPL chairman Brijesh Patel said it was too early to say when the league, which was initially set to culminate with a May 30 final in Ahmedabad, could resume. “We’re looking for another window,” Patel said. “At the moment, we can’t say when we can postpone it.”
The eight-team IPL with an estimated brand value of $ 6.8 billion is the richest Twenty20 league and attracts many of the best players from around the world to cricket-mad India. As many as 57 foreign players, including 14 Australians, are currently stranded in India with dozens of support staff.
The suspension now raises questions about the safe return of these foreign players. “The BCCI will do everything in its power to organize the safe and secure passage of all participants in the IPL 2021,” said the president.
The tournament which kicked off on April 9 hosted 29 matches without spectators, at least once a night, as India struggled to bring the second wave of Covid-19 under control before KKR’s Covid-19 cases hit the ground running. cause the initial nervousness Monday. The tournament final was scheduled for May 30. Apart from the 14 remaining Australian players, after three retirements a few days ago, there are 10 New Zealanders and 11 English.
South Africa had 11 players in the league, which also included nine West Indians, three Afghans and two from Bangladesh. In a letter to the franchises last month, the league assured them it would discuss travel arrangements for foreign players with the Indian government.
Australia has banned all arrivals from India until May 15 and England has added India to its “red” travel list. Cricket Australia declined to comment when asked if they intend to try and bring their players home.
India and New Zealand are set to play in the World Test Championship (WTC) final from June 18 and are due to fly to England after the IPL ends. But now the schedule will be changed.
The suspension of the IPL also casts doubt on this year’s Twenty20 World Cup which is due to take place in India in October-November. The flagship world tournament could be moved to the United Arab Emirates if the crisis in India does not ease, a BCCI official said last week.