Faizel Patel – 04/05/2021
The Indian Premier League (IPL) has been suspended indefinitely after players or staff at three clubs tested positive for COVID-19.
The Associated Press (AP) reports that the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) issued a statement saying local authorities and tournament officials took the decision unanimously “to postpone IPL 2021 season, with immediate effect.”
The BCCI says it does not want to compromise on the safety of the players, support staff and the other participants.
“These are difficult times, especially in India. 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.”
According to AP, the first cases involving players inside the IPL’s biosecure bubble forced Monday’s game between Kolkata Knight Riders and Royal Challengers Bangalore to be postponed.
The count grew on Tuesday when two Chennai Super Kings staffers and a Sunrisers Hyderabad player also returned positive tests.
The IPL has staged 29 games without spectators, at least one every night since 9 April 9, despite India’s stretched health system being pushed to the brink by another major wave of the pandemic.
The suspension could cause travel problems for players, with countries such as Australia and Britain temporarily barring travelers from India.
It is unclear whether South African players will be allowed back into the country or how they will return back and whether they have self-imposed quarantine.
The BCCI says it would do “everything in its powers to arrange for the secure and safe passage of all the participants in IPL 2021.”
India’s official count of coronavirus cases surpassed 20 million on Tuesday, nearly doubling in the past three months, while deaths officially have passed 220,000.