In a big decision, BCCI Vice President Rajeev Shukla announced that the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 was being suspended indefinitely keeping in mind the COVID-19 situation in the country. The decision to suspend IPL 2021 comes as several teams including Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR), Chennai Super Kings (CSK), and the latest being SunRisers Hyderabad (SRH) and Delhi Capitals (DC) report a breach in the bio-bubble with several players testing positive for the virus.
Issuing an official statement, the 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. The BCCI does not want to compromise on the safety of the players, support staff and the other participants involved in organising the IPL. This decision was taken keeping the safety, health and wellbeing of all the stakeholders in mind."
"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," it added.
Thanking all the healthcare workers, state associations, players, support staff, franchises, sponsors, partners and all the service providers, it said, "The BCCI will do everything in its powers to arrange for the secure and safe passage of all the participants in IPL 2021."
An official BCCI source has confirmed to RepublicTv that IPL 2021 is only being postponed and not cancelled. A new date for the tournament is expected to be decided by next week. "Later date will be decided next week. All matches will be rescheduled once we get clearance for shifting entire tournament to Mumbai. Teams will remain in Bio-bubble," said the BCCI source.
"We will try to conduct the event in the next available window but this month is unlikely," said League chairman Brijesh Patel to PTI.
Earlier today, Republic had reported that in order to safeguard the health of the players, the BCCI had requested the Maharashtra Government's permission to shift the remaining leg of the tournament to Mumbai. "We are looking at moving base to Mumbai, but are awaiting clearance from the Maharashtra government and once that is done, we will be good to go. Should take us another couple of days to get the clearance," a BCCI source had told news agency ANI.
Yesterday the IPL match scheduled between Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) and Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) was postponed after two players from the Kolkata camp- Varun Chakravarthy and Sandeep Warrier tested positive for COVID-19.
To make matters worse, reports of positive COVID-19 cases emerged from the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) contingent with bowling coach L Balaji once again testing positive. This caused the re-scheduling of the CSK Vs RR match slated to be held today.
Today, it was reported that two more franchises had fallen prey to the virus. SRH wicketkeeper-batsman Wriddhiman Saha and Delhi Capitals (DC) Amit Mishra tested positive for COVID-19 after the team ramped up testing procedures.
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