IPL postponed in COVID-bludgeoned India



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India IPL season suspended Image: IPL Twitter

Taking into cognizance the devastating COVID-19 situation in India which is continuing its ‘Dance of Death’ in full force in the country – tearing to shreds Metro Cities like New Delhi and Mumbai – and few players and members of the support staff testing positive for the deadly lung disease – the Indian Premier League Governing Council (IPL GC) and the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) in an emergency meeting on May 4th unanimously decided to postpone the IPL 2021 season with immediate effect.

‘The IPL’ stated that the BCCI does not want to compromise on the safety of the players, support staff and the other participants involved in organizing the IPL. This decision was taken keeping the safety, health and wellbeing of all the stakeholders in mind.

The Indian Premier League (IPL) is a professional Twenty20 cricket league contested by eight teams based out of eight different Indian Cities. The League was founded by the cash-rich Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) in 2007.

The eight teams are – Royal Challengers Bangalore, Chennai Super Kings, Mumbai Indians, Kolkata Knight Riders, Punjab Kings, Delhi Capitals, Sunrisers Hyderabad, and Rajasthan Royals.

Mumbai (India)-based the Board of Control for Cricket in India is the governing body for cricket in the country and is under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, Government of India. The Board was formed in December 1928 as a Society, registered under the Tamil Nadu Societies Registration Act.

The 2021 Indian Premier League, also known as IPL 14 or, for sponsorship reasons, Vivo IPL 2021, is the 14th season of the Indian Premier League (IPL), a professional Twenty20 cricket league established by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) in 2007. It was being played across six venues in India, before its postponement. Mumbai Indians are the two times defending champions, having won both the 2019 and the 2020 seasons.

A statement sent out by the BCCI read, “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 within its power to arrange for the secure and safe passage of all the participants in IPL 2021.”

The BCCI statement further read, “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 organize IPL 2021 even in these extremely difficult times.”

The ‘Khaleej Times’ stated that on May 3rd, two Kolkata Knight Riders players – Varun Chakravarthy and Sandeep Warrier – tested positive for coronavirus before reports emerged that even CSK bowling coach L Balaji returned with two RT-PCR positive results.

Meanwhile, Indian wicketkeeper-batsman Wriddhiman Saha also tested positive for the dreaded disease, the Sunrisers Hyderabad confirmed on May 4th.

The ‘Khaleej Times’ further stated that sources within the SRH camp confirmed that Saha was the lone person in their camp to have tested positive.

A member of the team management said, “Yes, Wriddhiman Saha has tested positive for coronavirus. Our entire team is now under isolation and there are no other positive reports, rest are all negative.”

The BCCI Vice-President Rajiv Shukla said the Board would look to reschedule the tournament – “IPL has been suspended, we will see whether we can reschedule it, it is not canceled. It is just suspended for now.”

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