The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has suspended the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 for the time being amid the burgeoning Covid-19 crisis in the country that has led to a few players — both Indian and foreign — opting to pull out of the ongoing season.
The decision comes close on the heels of Monday’s IPL 2021 match between the Kolkata Knight Riders and the Royal Challengers Bangalore in Ahmedabad being rescheduled after the Knight Riders’ spinner Varun Chakravarthy and seam bowler Sandeep Warrier tested positive for Covid-19.
The decision, the IPL said in a statement, was “unanimously” taken by by the tournament’s Governing Council along with the top brass of the BCCI. “The BCCI does not want to compromise on the safety of the players, support staff and the other participants involved in organising the IPL,” the statement said. “This decision was taken keeping the safety, health and wellbeing of all the stakeholders in mind.”
According to IPL Governing Council members, the decision was taken after Amit Mishra and Wriddhiman Saha too tested positive on Tuesday. Multiple BCCI officials and the franchises too confirmed the development.
Two members of the Chennai Super Kings’ IPL contingent too – bowling coach L Balaji, and a bus cleaner – had tested positive for Covid-19. CEO Kasi Viswanathan’s second report came negative in the evening. However, Balaji and the team driver continued to be positive.
Many Australian players left the IPL early as the coronavirus crisis worsened, with Adam Zampa and Kane Richardson choosing to follow AJ Tye home. Rajasthan Royals batsman Liam Livingstone opted to return to England citing “bubble fatigue” after spending much of the last 10 months moving in and out of biosecure environments. Meanwhile, India and Delhi Capitals spin spearhead R. Ashwin cut short his IPL season on April 25 to be with family.