The coronavirus pandemic continues to make life difficult for the Indian Premier League organisers. In the latest round of testing, Wriddhiman Saha of Sunrisers Hyderabad has tested positive, alongside Amit Mishra of Delhi Capitals.
This development now means four of the eight participating teams in the IPL have active Covid-19 cases in their contingent. The news comes a day after cases were detected in CSK’s and KKR’s bio-bubble.
As a result, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has suspended the IPL 2021 for the time being.
Matches Postponed, Rescheduling on the Cards?
The game between Kolkata Knight Riders and Royal Challengers Bangalore was postponed following the positive tests of Varun Chakravarthy and Sandeep Warrier.
The same is the fate for the Rajasthan Royals-Chennai Super Kings fixture (slated for May 5). The CSK members are currently in hard quarantine for the next six days as per the protocols, following the positive tests of their bowling coach Lakshmipathy Balaji and another member.
Add to this Saha’s and Mishra’s positive test results, it becomes more evident by BCCI had to suspend the tournament for now.
There were talks going on that the concluding leg of the tournament – to be played in Kolkata and Bangalore – can instead be moved to Mumbai and have the Wankhede Stadium host all IPL games from May 8.
But before that could come to fruition, conflicting reports started to emerge that the Indian Premier League 2021 has been suspended for the season.
According to a report by ANI, BCCI Vice-President Rajeev Shukla has confirmed that IPL 2021 has been suspended.
— ANI (@ANI) May 4, 2021
At the same time, several sports journalists and BCCI sources were claiming that the tournament is just paused for a week to give the organisers enough time to shift all action to Mumbai.
IPL Confirms the Postponement
This flurry of developments was soon followed by an official press release from the IPL. The release says that the Indian Premier League Governing Council and the BCCI have unanimously agreed to postpone the 2021 season with immediate effect.
UPDATE: 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.
— IndianPremierLeague (@IPL) May 4, 2021
If there were any doubts about whether the tournament would be moved to next week, sufficient to say they have all been addressed now.
The release also said:
“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 press release concluded with the mention of BCCI doing everything to arrange the safe and secure passage of all participants in the IPL 2021. The note also thanked all healthcare workers, players, partners, and all parties involved for its efforts to conduct the tournament.
Just a few days back, 3 Australian players flew home in the middle of the tournament while R Ashwin also withdrew from the tournament to be with his family.
Delhi Capitals led the table with 12 points, following by Chennai Super Kings and Royal Challengers Bangalore.
With IPL 2021 no longer in the picture for the time being, all eyes will now be on the World Cup later this year.