The number of new coronavirus infections in India passed 20 million on Tuesday with 357,229 new cases reported in the latest 24-hour period; IPL regular season was set to end on May 23 with qualifiers and eliminators to follow before the final on May 30
The IPL regular season was set to end on May 23
The 2021 Indian Premier League has been suspended indefinitely amid concerns over coronavirus levels in the country.
The number of new coronavirus infections in India passed 20 million on Tuesday with 357,229 new cases reported in the latest 24-hour period, placing further strain on an already overwhelmed health system.
The regular season had been scheduled to end on May 23 with qualifiers and eliminators to follow before the final on May 30.
“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,” an IPL statement said.
“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.
- Chris Lynn asks Cricket Australia to fly IPL players homeRavichandran Ashwin taking break from IPL to ‘support family’The quick cricket column
“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.”
Mumbai Indians were due to play Sunrisers Hyderabad on Tuesday, in what would have been the 31st match of a scheduled 60, but Sunrisers became the third franchise to reportedly return a positive Covid-19 case among their staff a matter of hours before the planned start.
Former England batsman Rob Key says the halting of the Indian Premier League schedule was inevitable given the situation regarding coronavirus in the country.
Two players from the Kolkata Knight Riders and two of the Chennai Super Kings backroom team also tested positive over the weekend, leading to enforced quarantine and postponed fixtures.
Three Australian cricketers – Adam Zampa, Kane Richardson and Andrew Tye – had already cut short their IPL season to head home, while India spinner Ravichandran Ashwin had taken a break to spend time with his family.
A contingent of 11 English players – including limited-overs captain Eoin Morgan – have been playing in the tournament, with the ECB having said earlier on Tuesday that it was leaving decisions over continued participation down to each individual.
England’s Jos Buttler had been in impressive form for the Rajasthan Royals
The likes of Jos Buttler, Jonny Bairstow, Moeen Ali, Sam Curran and Chris Woakes, who are members of England’s Test squad, had been facing the possibility of missing England’s five-day series against New Zealand at the start of June, but the IPL’s postponement could see them become available.
The IPL statement continued: “The BCCI will do everything in its powers to arrange for the secure and safe passage of all the participants in IPL 2021.
“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 organise IPL 2021 even in these extremely difficult times.”
Jason Roy, Dawid Malan, Sam Billings, Chris Jordan, and Tom Curran are the other English players at the tournament.