India’s showpiece franchise cricket event, the IPL, has been suspended indefinitely as COVID ravages the Asian nation.
The tournament had gone ahead in front of empty stadiums but, as cases rose exponentially in the country, it was only a matter of time before the inevitable decision to suspend the tournament entirely was taken.
There were many who questioned the decision for it to go ahead at all and, after several cases were reported from within the the Kolkata Knight Riders and Chennai Super Kings camps, the postponement seemed the only logical decision to take.
The Indian Premier League Governing Council (IPLGC) and the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) released a joint statement, reading:
“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.”
“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 powers-that-be have vowed to facilitate ‘safe passage’ for all foreign players to their home nations but the suspension has left Australian players in particular in a difficult situation.
After the Australian government banned any and all travel from India, players such as Pat Cummins and Marcus Stoinis have been left in limbo, with no way of getting home.
The ECB had earlier stated that they will leave the decision of continued participation up to each individual involved but now you can imagine they will be doing what they can to ensure the 11 English players return home safely.
The IPL 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.”