It was something that was already in sight after COVID-19 shattered two franchise bio-bubbles and became absolutely necessary after Tuesday’s developments.
After reports of SRH’s positive Wriddhiman Saha test become public, it is understood that the entire Sunrisers Hyderabad franchise is set to go into quarantine.
That, and the reluctance of a leading franchise to continue further into the tournament for now, have proven to be the main catalysts for this development.
UPDATE: The Indian Premier League Board of Directors (IPL GC) and the Cricket Control Board of India (BCCI) in a… https://t.co/qPlYeEEnVf
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The BCCI issued a press release confirming the development:
The Indian Premier League Board of Directors (IPL GC) and the Cricket Control Council of India (BCCI) in an emergency meeting unanimously decided to postpone IPL 2021 season, with immediate effect.
BCCI does not want to compromise on the safety of players, support staff and other participants involved in the organization of the IPL. This decision was made with the safety, health and well-being of all stakeholders in mind.
These are tough times, especially in India and while we have tried to bring some positivity and joy, it is imperative that the tournament is now put on hold and everyone returns to their family and loved ones in these hard times.
The BCCI will do everything in its power to ensure the safe and secure passage of all participants in the IPL 2021.
The BCCI would like to thank all the healthcare workers, state associations, actors, support staff, franchisees, sponsors, partners and all service providers who have done their best to organize IPL 2021 even in these extremely difficult times.
SRH was scheduled to face the Mumbai Indians in Delhi on Tuesday. With Saha testing positive, there was no way this match could have gone anyway.
Speaking to ANI, BCCI Vice President Rajeev Shukla said the tournament has been suspended for this season.
BCCI does not want to compromise on the safety of players, support staff and other participants involved… https://t.co/XSUtOViarz
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TOI understands that one particular franchise has raised the issue with BCCI and said, “You can host it after three months, five months, six months. It does not matter. But now it has to stop ”.
Star India broadcasters – who have the biggest stakes in this cricket extravaganza – are also learning to be in favor of postponing the tournament for now.
On Monday evening, after players and officials from Kolkata Knight Riders and Chennai Super Kings tested positive, as well as ground staff in Delhi and Chennai, BCCI was busy finalizing the transfer of the IPL to Mumbai and to cancel Kolkata and Bangalore as sites.
However, Tuesday’s developments changed the story again. As TOI reported, along with Saha there was also news of Amit Mishra from the Delhi capitals testing positive, which basically means the virus has entered four different franchise bio-bubbles.
As franchises panic and fear players and their families who are in a bubble that is shattering with the passing hour, cricket is the last thing anyone cares about.
“And now the foreign players also want to go home. They are clear that they can’t take this anymore. And we understand why they think this way, ”say those responsible for monitoring developments.
The BCCI has done a commendable job in hosting the 2020 edition of the tournament. The 2021 edition – by comparison – was a case of mismanagement on several fronts. The decision to play IPL on multiple sites, the idea of taking flights, not quarantining hotel staff, etc. for mandatory periods according to global health protocols, the random booking of hotels far from the place, a faulty GPS tracking system and a poor Covid. -the medical staff have all contributed – in small and large ways – to this mess.
BCCI cannot take the tournament outside of India immediately because the UAE has banned travel for those who fly from here. Hosting the tournament in India will not be possible until the end of the monsoons. However, with plenty of bilateral cricket and the ICC T20 World Cup slated for after India’s tour of England, it’s now a policy of waiting on how BCCI will sneak into their favorite property.
For now, the IPL will stop. And that’s the best BCCI can do at the moment, given what’s going on across the country.
Star India, the official broadcaster of the Indian Premier League, on Tuesday backed BCCI’s decision to indefinitely suspend the lucrative T20 event due to a COVID-19 outbreak in its bio-bubble.
“Star India supports BCCI’s decision to postpone IPL 2021. The health and safety of players, staff and all involved in the IPL is of utmost importance. We thank the BCCI, the IPL Board of Directors, the players, franchisees and sponsors for their support. We are also indebted to our employees, on-air talent, production and broadcast crews for doing their best to spread positivity by broadcasting IPL 2021 to millions of homes in the face of difficult circumstances, ” Star India said in a statement hours after the BCCI decision.