IPL suspended for now; ‘players’ health paramount’, says BCCI

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The BCCI has suspended the 2021 Indian Premier League (IPL) for the time being. Representational image.

The BCCI has suspended the 2021 Indian Premier League (IPL) for the time being. On Monday evening the cricket board office-bearers went into a huddle after the IPL bubble was breached. They decided to postpone the tournament.

“The IPL has been suspended for the time being. 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 keep safety first. We will meet again soon and decide when we can conclude this edition. And we will have to see when is the next window available,” BCCI vice-president Rajeev Shuka said.

Saha tests Covid positive

On Tuesday, Sunrisers Hyderabad’s wicketkeeper-batsman Wriddhiman Saha was tested positive for coronavirus. This came on the heels of Kolkata Knight Riders’ spinner Varun Chakravarthy and medium-pacer Sandeep Warrier returning Covid positive.

The game between KKR and Royal Challengers Bangalore yesterday was cancelled.

Following Saha contracting Covid, another postponement was on the cards, Tuesday evening’s game between Sunrisers and Mumbai Indians.

Chennai Super Kings’ bowling coach L Balaji returning Covid positive made things even more complicated. Almost everybody in the CSK team came to his “close contact”, which forced a six-day self-isolation as per the IPL’s Covid protocols.

As per the IPL Covid guidelines, “close contact” of an affected person should “isolate for six days” and return “3 negative tests on Day 1, 3 and 6”.

CSK communicated to the BCCI that they wouldn’t be able to play their next match against Rajasthan Royals on Wednesday.

Over two days, Covid engulfed the IPL and the BCCI had no option but to suspend it. It is learnt that moving the tournament to a single venue was never an option, for creating new bubbles in the middle of the tournament was well-nigh impossible. Shifting the IPL out to the United Arab Emirates was already ruled out.

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