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IPL 2021 suspended as more players, team staff test Covid positive

The decision was taken after Amit Mishra and Wriddhiman Saha tested positive on Tuesday.

NEW DELHI: The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has decided to suspend the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 for the time being after several players and support staff reportedly contracted Covid2019. 

“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,” said a statement issued by the BCCI after an urgent meeting with the IPL governing council.

“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,” it added.

The governing body for cricket in India went on to say that it will do everything in its powers to arrange for the secure and safe passage of all the participants in IPL 2021.

The decision comes close on the heels of Monday's match between the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) and the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) being postponed after KKR bowlers Varun Chakravarthy and Sandeep Warrier tested positive for Covid2019.

According to a report by Sportstar, the decision was taken after Amit Mishra and Wriddhiman Saha too tested positive on Tuesday. Multiple BCCI officials and the franchises have confirmed the development to media publications.

Reports stated that Chennai Super Kings (CSK) had informed the BCCI that the team won’t play its upcoming match against Rajasthan Royals in New Delhi on Wednesday after two members of its squad, bowling coach L Balaji, and a bus cleaner tested Covid positive.

Many Australian players have left the IPL early amidst the second Covid wave tearing through India.

The development is sure to throw a spanner in the plans of broadcaster Star Sports and the brands who had sought to capitalise on the league’s incredible popularity and reach.

After a season abroad due to the Covid pandemic, the IPL had returned to India for its fourteenth season and a bio bubble was set up to ensure the safety of players, team staff, crew and other people involved in the league’s execution. However, the bio bubble has proved to be less than infallible as Covid positive cases were detected within even before the tournament kicked off on April 9. Now, after almost a month and millions of new cases reported, the deadly virus has pierced the bubble. With multiple infected persons cropping up across teams since last week, the fate of IPL 2021 hangs in the balance.

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