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BCCI suspends IPL 2021 after players test 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,” IPL chairman Brijesh Patel said

May 04, 2021 01:18 pm | Updated November 18, 2021 04:19 pm IST - Mumbai

The 2021 edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) came to an abrupt halt on Tuesday, with the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) deciding to suspend the season midway through the league stage.

The decision was made minutes after it was revealed that two players — Wriddhiman Saha of Sunrisers Hyderabad and Amit Mishra of Delhi Capitals — had contracted COVID-19.

The BCCI, in a statement, said that it had unanimously decided to “postpone” the current season of the IPL 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 well-being of all the stakeholders in mind,” the statement said.

The IPL executives and BCCI officials, late on Monday and early on Tuesday, had tried to chalk out a plan to shift the tournament to two stadia in Mumbai. However, the moment new infections were confirmed, the emergent IPL Governing Council meeting decided to stop the competition.

It is uncertain whether the remaining 31 games of the tournament can be played any time soon. With the international calendar packed till the end of the year, the BCCI may struggle to find a window for rescheduling the IPL.

However, a BCCI official, preferring anonymity, said that efforts will be made to “create a window immediately after the T20 World Cup final in November”.

India is scheduled to host South Africa for a full series after the T20 World Cup in October-November at home. It will be interesting to see if the series is curtailed to make way for the IPL.

More importantly, the IPL suspension has dented India’s chances of hosting the 16-nation T20 World Cup.

With the COVID-19 pandemic wreaking havoc across the country, the BCCI-appointed tournament director Dhiraj Malhotra had recently confirmed United Arab Emirates as a back-up venue to organise the event.

With the bio-secure bubble for the IPL having been breached across multiple locations, the global cricket community and the governing bodies are unlikely to agree to travel to India for the event.

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