Image Credit: PTI
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) might not conduct this year's Women's T20 Challenge, which usually coincides with the playoff stage of the Indian Premier League (IPL). According to news agency ANI, BCCI might have to cancel the Women's T20 Challenge keeping in mind the worsening COVID-19 situation in India. ANI spoke to an official from the BCCI, who told the news agency that the Women's T20 Challenge might get cancelled due to rising COVID cases in the country, adding "it looks quite difficult to arrange the tournament".
The BCCI representative told ANI that an official decision on the matter is yet to be taken but it is highly unlikely that the tournament will go on as planned. The Women's T20 Challenge, which the BCCI has been organising for the past couple of seasons during the final stages of the IPL, consists of three teams that bring players from all over the world, including Australia and England. The Australian government on Tuesday imposed a ban on passenger flights from India until May 15, which will be extended if the situation worsens in the next few weeks. The Women's IPL has three teams, which are led by Indian cricketers Mithali Raj, Harmanpreet Kaur, and Smriti Mandhana respectively.
"An official decision is yet to be made, but unfortunately looks highly unlikely. The second COVID-19 wave has made things very difficult and with travel restrictions and flight bans, hosting a tournament with overseas players won't be easy. Also, the safety of everyone involved will always be the priority. Might have to skip this edition and get back to hosting it next season," ANI quoted BCCI official as saying.
India is currently witnessing the peak of the outbreak as more people are coming out positive in the ongoing second wave. India registered over 3,60,000 fresh infections in the last 24 hours, which is the seventh consecutive day of more than 3 lakh cases in the country. According to data provided by the government, over 3,200 people lost their lives due to COVID-19 on April 27. India is running its vaccination programme since January but the sudden surge in cases has scarred the success achieved by doctors and other healthcare professionals over the past few months.