On May 4, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) decided to suspend IPL 2021 indefinitely after COVID cases were detected in several contingents. It all began when, on May 3, Kolkata Knight Riders’ Varun Chakravarthy and Sandeep Warrier tested positive for COVID-19.
This news was swiftly followed by report that two members of the Chennai upper King contingent had returned a positive COVID-19 Test. Former Indian pacer and bowling coach L Balaji was one of them. Reports also suggested that five Delhi & Districts Cricket Association groundsmen at the Feroz Shah Kotla Stadium had also tested positive for the coronavirus. In light of these developments, BCCI decided to call off the match between Kolkata Knight Riders and Royal Challengers Bangalore.
Though the match between Mumbai Indians and Sunrisers Hyderabad was supposed to go ahead as per the schedule in the morning, things took an unexpected turn during the course of the day. Sunrisers Hyderabad’s wicket-keeper batsman Wriddhiman Saha tested positive for COVID-19 and the entire squad was put into isolation. Further news emerged that Delhi Capitals’ veteran spinner Amit Mishra had also tested positive.
These developments and setbacks forced the BCCI to suspend IPL 2021 indefinitely, while they were earlier considering a plan to shift the remainder of the tournament to Mumbai. BCCI had started making arrangements for hotels and the establishment of bio-bubbles in the Financial Capital of India before deciding to postpone the entire event.
“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 well-being of all the stakeholders in mind,” the official statement from BCCI read.
They also promised to make sure each and every player would return back home safely. “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 organise IPL 2021 even in these extremely difficult times,” the BCCI statement concluded.