The 2021 edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) has been suspended with immediate effect, the organisers announced on May 4. This came amid news reports of players across multiple teams testing positive for COVID-19 in recent days.
"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 well-being of all stakeholders in mind," the IPL Governing Council said in a statement.
"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 GC said.
The organisers said that the BCCI would "do everything in its powers to arrange for the secure and safe passage" of all participants.
The season was in its league stage which would have been followed by the Playoffs. The final was to be held on May 30.
"The tournament has been suspended indefinitely. We will try to conduct the event in the next available window but this month is unlikely," IPL Chairman Brijesh Patel told news agency PTI.
All teams, broadcast crew and organisers were operating in a bio-secure bubble amid the COVID-19 second wave. While the tournament had continued, multiple players had withdrawn in recent days.
Earlier, news reports suggested that Sunrisers Hyderabad’s May 4 fixture against the Mumbai Indians (MI) could be rescheduled after one of the SRH players tested positive for the infectious disease.
It was also reported earlier in the day that the match between the Chennai Super Kings and the Rajasthan Royals (RR), scheduled for May 5, would likely be rescheduled after CSK's bowling coach Lakshmipathy Balaji and a member of the travel staff tested positive for COVID-19. The IPL GC had not confirmed rescheduling of the matches on May 4 and 5.
These developments came a day after the May 3 match between the Kolkata Knight Riders and the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) was rescheduled as a precautionary measure after two KKR players -- Varun Chakaravarthy and Sandeep Warrier -- tested positive for COVID-19.
Confirming this, the organisers had said that all other KKR team members had tested negative for COVID -19.
In a statement, the Governing Council had said that both players have isolated themselves from the rest of the squad. “The Medical Team is in continuous touch with the duo and are monitoring their health.”Follow Moneycontrol’s full coverage of IPL 2021 here