The Indian Premier League has been suspended indefinitely amid a huge coronavirus outbreak in the country after a number of coronavirus cases were identified within the teams involved.
Two Kolkata Knight Riders players and several members of Chennai Super Kings staff tested positive over the weekend, leading to Kolkata’s game against Royal Challengers Bangalore being suspended on Monday.
India is in the midst of one of the worst Covid waves experienced by any country since the pandemic began and the league had been heavily criticised in some quarters for continuing. On Saturday, India became the first country to record more than 400,000 new cases in a single day, while on Sunday it recorded its highest daily death toll at 3,689.
An IPL statement said: “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 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 BCCI will do everything in its powers to arrange for the secure and safe passage of all the participants in IPL 2021.”
Three Australian players, Andrew Tye, Adam Zampa and Kane Richardson, recently flew home from the tournament with Covid case numbers surging, while Indian spinner Ravi Ashwin also stepped back from Delhi Capitals in order to be with his family. England’s Liam Livingstone had also left the tournament, though he put his departure down to bubble fatigue.