After several players and support staff tested positive for COVID-19, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on Tuesday announced the postponement of the Indian Premier League (IPL).
Notably, the match between Kolkata Knight Riders and Royal Challengers Bangalore that was scheduled at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad on Monday had to be cancelled after two KKR players—Varun Chakravarthy and Sandeep Warrier—tested positive for COVID-19.
This apart, Chennai Super Kings bowling coach Lakshmipathy Balaji and a support staff of the team tested positive for the deadly virus.
BCCI issues statement on IPL
The board in a statement said that the decision has been taken to ensure the safety of players, support staff and others involved in the tournament.
The statement reads: “The Indian Premier League Governing Council (IPL GC) and Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) in an emergency meeting have 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.”
“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.”
Several overseas players left IPL midway
Several overseas players had left the IPL midway as COVID-19 cases and deaths continue to surge with each passing day. Kane Richardson and Adam Zampa who played for the Royal Challengers Bangalore returned to Australia for “personal reasons”, the franchise announced last month.
Another Australian cricketer, Andrew Tye of Rajasthan Royals, returned to Australia, also for personal reasons. Tye explained the reason behind his leaving the IPL midway and said he was worried about getting “locked out” of Australia amid restriction in his state of Western Australia.
Off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin who played for Delhi Capitals had also left the IPL midway to help his family and extended family who are “putting up a fight against COVID-19.”
Ashwin had tweeted, “I would be taking a break from this year’s IPL from tomorrow. My family and extended family are putting up a fight against #COVID19 and I want to support them during these tough times. I expect to return to play if things go in the right direction. Thank you @DelhiCapitals.”
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