Covid forces IPL suspension

Today News Online Service

New Delhi, May 4

The Indian Premier League (IPL) was suspended indefinitely today after several Covid-19 cases were reported from multiple IPL teams yesterday and today.

The decision was taken after an emergency meeting of the Indian cricket board (BCCI) and the IPL Governing Council.

“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 IPL said in a statement, adding: “The BCCI will do everything in its powers to arrange for the secure and safe passage of all the participants in IPL 2021.”

IPL chairman Brijesh Patel said that they would try to resume the event “in the next available window but this month is unlikely”.

4 teams affected

The announcement came after Sunrisers Hyderabad’s Wriddhiman Saha and Delhi Capitals’ Amit Mishra tested positive for Covid-19. This brought the number of Covid-affected teams to four, after two Kolkata Knight Riders players — Varun Chakravarthy and Sandeep Warrier — and three Chennai Super Kings officials/staff members tested positive yesterday. Following this, last night’s match between KKR and Royal Challengers Bangalore had to be postponed.

Saha’s SRH were scheduled to take on Mumbai Indians in Delhi tonight. Reports say that Saha had reported symptoms, including fever, on May 1, a day before SRH took on Rajasthan Royals in Delhi. He got tested for Covid-19 the same day and returned a negative result, but was put in isolation. He was tested on a daily basis after that, and the third test elicited a positive result.

After CSK bowling coach L Balaji tested positive, the whole squad was placed in isolation — because Balaji had been an integral part of the squad and was present in the team’s dugout during the match against Mumbai Indians on May 1.

Ineffective bio-bubble

The positive cases and suspension of the league has left a question mark over the bio-secure bubble within which the players were living, playing and travelling. In fact, only last week BCCI’s interim CEO Hemang Amin reassured the players and all stakeholders that the bio-secure bubble was “totally safe”.

However, Australia’s Adam Zampa, who had left the tournament last week, had raised his concerns over the safety of IPL’s bio-secure bubble. “We’ve been in a few (bubbles) now, and I feel like this is probably the most vulnerable,” Zampa had said. However, in a statement released by his team, RCB, he later clarified: “My comments about the vulnerability of the IPL bubble had nothing to do with feeling that the virus would enter the bubble at any stage. The BCCI and RCB had many precautions to make us feel safe. I believe the tournament is in great hands.” Events over the next few days proved otherwise.

Sensible decision

Seems a very sensible decision to postpone the IPL… cases have started to appear inside the bubble they had no other option. Hope everyone stays safe in India and all the overseas players can find a way back to there families.—Michael Vaughan, former England captain

Covid don’t care. It has no favourites. Get well to those sick and hopefully everyone else will get home safe and in good health. — Dale Steyn, South Africa fast bowler

India — it’s heartbreaking to see a country I love so much suffering! You WILL get through this! You WILL be stronger coming out of this! Your kindness & generosity NEVER goes unnoticed even during this crisis!—Kevin Pietersen, former England batsman

We are in a worldwide pandemic — faced with several challenges. It’s sad to see another big tournament being affected — however it’s the right decision taken at this point.— Azhar Mahmood, former Pakistan bowling coach

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