The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has indefinitely suspended the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 after several players and support staff tested positive for COVID-19.
“We have suspended the IPL for now. The new window will be worked out later on. A statement will follow soon,” Patel told Sportstar on Tuesday.
The decision comes close on the heels of Monday's IPL 2021 match between the Kolkata Knight Riders and the Royal Challengers Bangalore in Ahmedabad being rescheduled after the Knight Riders' spinner Varun Chakravarthy and seam bowler Sandeep Warrier tested positive for Covid-19.
According to IPL Governing Council members, the decision was taken after Amit Mishra and Wriddhiman Saha too tested positive on Tuesday. Multiple BCCI officials and the franchises too confirmed the development. "After much deliberation, it was decided that the tournament had to be suspended for now," a BCCI official said.
On Monday, two members of the Chennai Super Kings' IPL contingent too - bowling coach L Balaji, and a bus cleaner - had tested positive for Covid-19. CEO Kasi Viswanathan's second report came negative in the evening. However, Balaji and the team driver continued to be positive.
Many Australian players left the IPL early as the coronavirus crisis worsened, with Adam Zampa and Kane Richardson choosing to follow AJ Tye home. Rajasthan Royals batsman Liam Livingstone opted to return to England citing "bubble fatigue" after spending much of the last 10 months moving in and out of biosecure environments. Meanwhile, India and Delhi Capitals spin spearhead R. Ashwin cut short his IPL season on April 25 to be with family.
The BCCI now is in conversation with the authorities to ensure the safe travel for the overseas players. "We are in touch with the authorities to figure out how can we send the players back home and we will ensure that everyone is safe," the BCCI official said.