The Indian Premier League has been indefinitely suspended after a series of COVID-19 cases in the bubble. Yesterday, two of Kolkata Knight Riders' players Varun Chakravarthy and Sandeep Warrier returned positive results and now, SRH batsman Wriddhiman Saha and Delhi Capitals' Amit Mishra have tested positive for COVID-19.
Post yesterday's cases, the BCCI was planning to shift the matches to Mumbai but with two more players returning positive, the BCCI was left with no option but to call off the tournament. The development was confirmed by the BCCI in a media release, adding that the decision was taken considering the safety of players, support staff and everyone involved in the IPL.
"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. The BCCI does not want to compromise on the safety of the players, support staff and the other participants involved in organizing the IPL. This decision was taken keeping the safety, health and well-being of all the stakeholders in mind," stated a BCCI media release.
The BCCI further gave justification for going ahead with the IPL despite the chaotic situation in the country, stating that they wanted to bring some positivity in these testing times. The board also assured the players that it will do everything in its powers for their safe return.
"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 BCCI will do everything in its powers to arrange for the secure and safe passage of all the participants in IPL 2021. The BCCI would like to thank all the healthcare workers, state associations, players, support staff, franchises, sponsors, partners and all the service providers who have tried their best to organize IPL 2021 even in these extremely difficult times."
It was also reported that the franchises were not in favour of continuing with the IPL as several of their overseas players wanted to quit the league.
“Most of our foreign players now doesn’t want to continue. They don’t feel safe anymore. We have assured them we will take care of them and if required will also take care of their travel out of India. Without the availability of these players, how we can continue”, said the franchise official.
Earlier, the game between Kolkata Knight Riders and Royal Challengers Bangalore was postponed and there were some doubts about tomorrow's game between Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals as well as the former was not keen on taking field after their bowling coach L Balaji tested positive for COVID-19. However, the BCCI made it clear that today's game between Sunrisers Hyderabad and Mumbai Indians will go as per the schedule.