Delhi Daredevils bowler Trent Boult bowls during an IPL cricket match against the Rajasthan Royals.
Vishal Bhatnagar | NurPhoto | Getty Image
The 2021 Indian Premier League has been suspended amid concerns over coronavirus levels in the country.
The number of new coronavirus infections in India passed 20 million on Tuesday with 357, 229 new cases reported in the latest 24-hour period, placing further strain on an already overwhelmed health system.
Three Australian cricketers — Adam Zampa, Kane Richardson and Andrew Tye — have already cut short their IPL season to head home, while India spinner Ravichandran Ashwin has taken a break to spend time with his family.
The regular season was set to end on May 23 with qualifiers and eliminators to follow before the final on May 30.
“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,” an IPL statement said.
“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 wellbeing of all the stakeholders in mind.
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“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.”
Three Australian cricketers – Adam Zampa, Kane Richardson and Andrew Tye – have already cut short their IPL season to head home, while India spinner Ravichandran Ashwin has taken a break to spend time with his family.
Several England players – including limited-overs captain Eoin Morgan, Jos Buttler, Jonny Bairstow and Moeen Ali – have been playing in the tournament, with the ECB having said earlier on Tuesday that it was leaving decisions over continued participation down to each individual.
The likes of Buttler, Bairstow and Ali, who are members of England’s Test squad, had been facing the possibility of missing England’s five-day series against New Zealand at the start of June, but the IPL’s postponement could see them become available.
The statement continued: “The BCCI will do everything in its powers to arrange for the secure and safe passage of all the participants in IPL 2021.
“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.”
In this picture taken on October 10, 2020, a taxi drives past a hoarding of Mumbai Indians cricketers of the Indian Premier League (IPL) cricket tournament in Mumbai.
INDRANIL MUKHERJEE | AFP | Getty Images