The Indian Premier League (IPL) has been suspended with immediate effect until further notice after four franchise bio-bubbles were breached with players and support staff testing positive for coronavirus.
There was a lot of hue and cry from around the country about the IPL which was taking place in the midst of the second wave of the pandemic that is devastating most of India. There were calls for its suspension with many questioning why it was allowed to continue.
However, the tournament continued as the organisers were confident that the teams along with the staff and players were secure owing to the secure bio-bubbles that was created. However, in the last 48 hours news filtered through that there were breaches with Kolkata Knight Riders reporting that two of their players had tested positive.
That news was followed by ground staff belonging to Chennai Super Kings also returning a positive test. And once news of Wridhaman Saha of the Sunrisers Hyderabad testing positive was confirmed, it quickly became clear that the whole team will have to go under quarantine. Amit Mishra of the Delhi Capitals is the other player to have most recently tested positive.
The IPL Governing Council and the Board of Cricket Control in India (BCCI) held an emergency meeting on Tuesday where it was unanimously decided that the tournament will be suspended. The BCCI has also vowed to ensure safe passage to all the participants of the tournament.
“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 tournament organisers said via a statement.
“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,” the statement added.
“The BCCI will do everything in its powers to arrange for the secure and safe passage of all the participants in IPL 2021.”
The overseas players in the league were already anxious with regards to the worsening situation in India. A number of players like Andrew Tye, Kane Richardson and Adam Zampa have already returned home midway through the competition.
According to the Times of India, a number of the global health protocols were not followed during the course of the tournament. The organisers will be unable to move the tournament outside India at such short notice, especially since the UAE has banned all flights from the Indian subcontinent.