New Delhi: Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on Tuesday announced that it is suspending the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 owing to rising covid cases in the country and multiple IPL players testing positive.
In an official statement, BCCI said, “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.”
— ANI (@ANI) May 4, 2021
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: BCCI
— ANI (@ANI) May 4, 2021
News agency ANI confirmed the development quoting BCCI’s vice-president Rajeev Shukla who reportedly said, “IPL has been suspended, we will see whether we can reschedule it, it is not cancelled. It is just suspended for now.”
The announcement comes after a Sun Risers Hyderabad (SRH) player tested positive ahead of their scheduled match against Mumbai Indians in Delhi today. The rising number of Covid positives within the IPL bio bubble have led to the suspension of the season mid-way.
On 3 May, match between Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) and Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) to be played in Ahmedabad had to be postponed after two KKR players tested positive.
Varun Chakravarthy and Sandeep Warrier of KKR have tested positive for covid-19.
“Both the players have isolated themselves from the rest of the squad. The Medical Team is in continuous touch with the duo and is monitoring their health. Meanwhile, the Kolkata Knight Riders have now moved towards a daily testing routine to identify any other possible cases and treat them at the earliest,” the IPL said in the statement.
Four international players and one national players have already exited the 2021 edition of IPL, which is being held at six major Indian cities.
Australian players make up the majority of the exits. Royal Challengers Bangalore’s overseas recruits Adam Zampa and Kane Richardson along with Rajasthan Royals’ fast bowler Andrew Tye returned home citing personal reasons.
Rajasthan Royal’s batting all-rounder Liam Livingstone flew back to England last week, citing “bubble fatigue accumulated over the past year”.
Delhi Capitals off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin also quit, the only player among the five who has officially cited covid-19 as the reason for his withdrawal.
With the league being suspended indefinitely, industry estimates show ₹4,000-5,000 crore is at stake in terms of advertising and sponsorship money.
Sports marketing and media experts said the fear of travel bans by foreign countries and strict bio-bubble protocols took a toll on players, as India continues to reel under the devastating impact of the second covid-19 wave.