Former Australia captain Ian Chappell has opined that the suspension of the Indian Premier League (IPL 2021) is a grim reminder of cricket's vulnerability. Chappell also said that, given the pandemic situation in India, the chances of the T20 World Cup in India getting postponed or moved out cannot be dismissed.
The BCCI was forced to suspend IPL 2021 indefinitely earlier this week after a number of players and staff members from across franchises tested positive for COVID-19. Following the suspension of the tournament, two more players from the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) - Prasidh Krishna and Tim Seifert - also tested positive for COVID-19.
Writing in his column for ESPNcricinfo, Chappell noted:
"The suspension of the IPL 2021 tournament because of surging COVID-19 infections and deaths among the public and a number of participants testing positive is a reminder of the game's vulnerability."
Chappell further added in his column that the suspension of IPL 2021 puts the T20 World Cup scheduled in India in October-November under a cloud, saying:
"In the current disastrous climate, the suspension of the IPL could also produce a precedent. It may lead to the World T20 event, programmed for India later in the year, either getting postponed or moved."
IPL 2021 was temporarily halted on May 4 after 29 matches had been played in this year’s edition.
Earlier, former England captain Kevin Pietersen said that the UK could host the remaining matches of IPL 2021. Pietersen pointed out that there is a window in September, as the India-England five-match Test series will end on September 14.
Pietersen opined in a column for Betway:
"I have seen people talking about the UAE as a possible destination to finish the IPL in September, but I actually think the IPL should move to the UK. There is a window in September after the England vs India Test series has finished. All the best Indian players would already be there, and all of the best English players would be available as well."
Pietersen also claimed that there is a good chance of crowds being allowed if IPL 2021 takes place in England in September. According to the former player:
"Mid-to-late September is the most beautiful time in the UK. They could use Manchester, Leeds, Birmingham and the two London grounds. There is also a good chance that crowds will be allowed in the grounds. and there will be great atmospheres. The IPL has been to the UAE; it's been to South Africa, and I think England would now be the perfect place to house the remaining fixtures,"
Incidentally, a few English counties have expressed their interest in hosting the remainder of the marquee T20 competition later this year.