Several players & others test positive, IPL put on hold

COVID-19 Sports Top Story

Balaji affected, entire CSK goes in isolation

The ongoing 14th edition of the Indian Premier League has been temporarily suspended after multiple players from various franchises tested positive for Covid-19. 

“The Indian Premier League Governing Council (IPL GC) and Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) in an emergency meeting has (sic) unanimously decided to postpone IPL 2021 season with immediate effect,” IPL tweeted on Tuesday.

Speaking to ANI, BCCI vice-president Rajiv Shukla said: “IPL has been suspended, we will see whether we can reschedule it. It is not cancelled. It is just suspended for now.” 

This announcement comes after Chennai Super Kings released a statement saying their entire squad will remain in isolation after their bowling coach Lakshmipati Balaji and a member of the travel support staff tested positive for the virus.

“They have been isolated… are being monitored by the BCCI and CSK medical teams. The rest of the Super Kings squad will remain in isolation as per IPL protocols,” the statement said.

IPL protocols demand a seven-day isolation period following the detection of a Covid-19 case.

With the CSK squad going in a week-long isolation, Wednesday evening’s match between CSK and Rajasthan Royals has been postponed. 

The Economic Times reported that a source from the Sunrisers Hyderabad has confirmed the team’s wicketkeeper-batsman Wriddhiman Saha has tested positive for Covid-19 as well. 

These were the latest positive results to be detected among the IPL teams.

On Sunday, two players from Kolkata Knight Riders – Varun Chakaravarthy and Sandeep Warrier – had tested positive. Due to this, match 30 between Royal Challengers Bangalore and KKR, scheduled for May 3, was postponed.

The suspension of the tournament has left cricket-lovers disappointed, though they feel it was a necessary decision. 

“It was high time the IPL was suspended, keeping in mind the number of cases in the country. Once players started leaving the tournament, suspending the tournament became a matter of when, and not if,” said Ankit Sharma, a Chennai Super Kings supporter.

Namit Bhargava, an RCB fan, informed The Observer: “The only emotional escape during these tragic times has been taken away, but I feel it is a practical decision.”

Duttnath Thakur, an ardent cricket follower, said: “The suspension of the league is a reminder of the tragedy that we are surrounded by. I sympathize with the players who are having to deal with the psychological and physical pressures of isolation.”

After the 2020 edition of IPL in Dubai, BCCI decided to hold the current edition in India at six venues – New Delhi, Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Chennai, Bengaluru and Kolkata. The home-and-away format was done away with. 

Ending with a note of thanks, the IPL statement read: “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.”


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