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IPL 2021 Suspended For This Season, Confirms BCCI's Vice President After Players Tests Positive For COVID-19

IPL 2021 Cancelled After Players Tests Positive For COVID-19

The Indian Premier League (IPL 2021) has been suspended for this season after reports of several players testing positive for novel coronavirus emerged on Tuesday. The BCCI's Vice President confirmed the news. Here's what he said.

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), on Tuesday, confirmed that The Indian Premier League (IPL) has been suspended indefinitely after several players and support staff from different teams tested positive for novel coronavirus. Speaking to the media, league chairman Brijesh Patel said, "The tournament has been suspended indefinitely. We will try to conduct the event in the next available window but this month is unlikely."

The announcement came after Sunrisers Hyderabad's wicketkeeper-batsman Wriddhiman Saha tested positive for COVID-19 along with Delhi Capitals' spinner veteran spinner Amit Mishra.

"...we will take stock if we can find a suitable window later during the year. It could be September but these are all speculations. As of now, we are not conducting it any further," BCCI vice-president Rajiv Shukla told the media.

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On Monday, Chennai Super Kings bowling coach L Balaji along with Kolkata Knight Riders bowlers Sandeep Warrier and Varun Chakravarthy had also returned positive results.

The spread of infections had led to the postponement of two IPL games earlier. The league organizers also issued a formal statement and said that the safety of its players and staff is paramount.

"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 statement read.

"The BCCI does not want to compromise on the safety of the players, support staff, and the other participants involved in organizing the IPL. This decision was taken keeping the safety, health, and well-being of all the stakeholders in mind," it added.

The IPL said BCCI will do all it can to ensure that players in the event get back to their homes safely. IPL features stars from England, Australia, and New Zealand among other countries.

"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 IPL stated.

"The BCCI will do everything in its powers to arrange for the secure and safe passage of all the participants in IPL 2021."

The tournament began on April 9 and ran smoothly before KKR's COVID-19 cases caused the initial jitters on Monday. The tournament final was planned for May 30.

There was cause of concern in Delhi too as a few groundsmen at the Feroz Shah Kotla Stadium tested positive even though DDCA chief Rohan Jaitley asserted that "none of the groundsmen on duty" were among the infected.

Just days before this, three Australian players had pulled out of the league, citing COVID-19 concerns amid a devastating second wave of the global pandemic that has overwhelmed the medical infrastructure of the country.

The 2020 IPL had also been held in a bio-secure bubble in the UAE and at that time, infections were only reported before the start of the tournament.

COVID-19 Tally In India Crosses 2-Crore Mark

India is currently recording over 3 lakh cases every day and more than 3,000 daily deaths. The country's total tally of COVID-19 cases crossed the 2-crore mark with over 50 lakh infections being added in just 15 days.

The total tally of coronavirus cases in the country mounted to 2,02,82,833 with 3,57,229 new infections being reported in a day, while the death toll increased to 2,22,408 with 3,449 new fatalities, according to the Union Health Ministry data updated on Tuesday.

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