BCCI suspends IPL amidst increasing COVID concerns

Ever since the lucrative and cash-rich league started, there were concerns about the increasing COVID-19 cases in India. However, the Board for Cricket Control in India were able to convince the franchises and cricket players that the league will go on in full safety mode. The rigorous tests were conducted to keep players safe from the pandemic. Despite all the measures, players like Adam Zampa, Kane Richardson, and Andrew Tye returned to their homeland. Now, it is official that the Indian Premier League for 2021 has been suspended for a week according to the BCCI statement. The BCCI official statement read:

 “After much deliberation, it was decided that the tournament had to be suspended for now,

What happened on Monday?

Varun Chakravarthy and Sandeep Warrior tested positive for COVID on Monday

The game between Royal Challengers Bangalore and Kolkata Knight Riders was rescheduled after two of the Kolkata Knight Riders players tested positive. Varun Chakravarthy and Sandeep Warrier were the players who tested positive and the BCCI decided to postpone the game. However, the elite body for cricket in India didn’t think twice about the league. They decided to continue with the games on Tuesday. However, Sunrisers Hyderabad and Delhi Capitals’ players tested positive for COVID-19 putting the league into jeopardy. Barring players, the support staff of Chennai Super Kings, including their bowling coach Lakshmipathy Balaji tested positive. The Chepauk Stadium-based outfit had asked to reschedule their next two matches. 

What made the BCCI cancel the tournament on Tuesday? 

On Tuesday, after the mandatory test for Delhi Capitals players, who were asked to quarantine for a week after KKR players tested positive, Indian leg-break bowler Amit Mishra tested positive for COVID-19. This led the Board for Cricket Control in India to suspend the season temporarily for a week at least. 

BCCI Vice-president and Spokesperson, Rajeev Shukla said:

We spoke to everyone from teams, broadcasters and all those who were involved in it. It was decided to defer the IPL especially looking at the sentiment and current situation in the country. For us players health is paramount and BCCI will always keeps safety first. We will meet again soon and decide when we can conclude this edition, we will have to see when is the next window available

Before the league had started, several players like Devdutt Padikkal and Daniel Sams of Royal Challengers Bangalore had tested positive for COVID-19. However, both the players finished the mandatory self-quarantine and isolation and joined the bio-bubble.  

India is all set to feature in ICC World Test Championship in June in England and after the finals, the team will feature in a bilateral series against England. Also, the T20 World Cup will make the schedule hectic for the players. It remains interesting to see when BCCI will conclude the ongoing season of the Indian Premier League.