The Indian Premier League was on Tuesday suspended indefinitely after multiple covid-19 cases were reported in its bio-bubble. The announcement came after Sunrisers Hyderabad’s wicket keeper-batsman Wriddhiman Saha tested positive for covid-19 along with Delhi Capitals’ spinner veteran spinner Amit Mishra. Just days before this, five players had pulled out of the league, citing COVID-19 concerns amid a devastating second wave of the global pandemic that has overwhelmed the medical infrastructure of the country. “The tournament has been suspended indefinitely. We will try to conduct the event in the next available window but this month is unlikely,” Brijesh Patel, chairman, IPL told PTI.
On Monday, Chennai Super Kings bowling coach L Balaji along with Kolkata Knight Riders bowlers Sandeep Warrier and Varun Chakravarthy had also returned positive results. According to Shukla, vice-president, BCCI, “…we will take stock if we can find a suitable window later during the year. It could be September but these are all speculations. As of now we are not conducting it any further.”
As per Star India, the official broadcaster of IPL, the health and safety of players, staff and everyone involved in the IPL are of paramount importance. “We thank the BCCI, IPL Governing Council, players, franchisees and sponsors for their support. We are also indebted to our employees, on-air talent, production and broadcast crews for trying their best to spread positivity by delivering the broadcast of IPL 2021 to millions of homes in the face of challenging circumstances,” the broadcaster stated.
The tournament began on April 9 and ran smoothly for about a month before KKR’s covid-19 cases caused the initial jitters on Monday. There was cause of concern in Delhi too as a few groundsmen at the Feroz Shah Kotla Stadium tested positive even though DDCA chief Rohan Jaitley asserted that “none of the groundsmen on duty” were among the infected.
The 2020 IPL had also been held in a bio-secure bubble in the UAE and at that time, infections were only reported before the start of the tournament. India is currently recording over three lakh cases everyday and more than 3,000 daily deaths.