The ongoing edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) has been suspended with immediate effect and postponed to a later date, which could be announced soon.
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has taken the call amidst the growing number of Covid-19 cases within the tournament's bio-secure bubble.
On Monday, two Kolkata Knight Riders' (KKR) players, Varun Chakravarthy and Sandeep Warrier, tested positive for Covid, pushing the T20 league into a crisis.
Later in the day, it was revealed that three Chennai Super Kings backroom staff, including bowling coach Lakshmipathy Balaji who was in close proximity with players, also tested positive, adding to the woes.
The last straw was when Sunrisers Hyderabad's (SRH) Wriddhiman Saha and Delhi Capitals' (DC) Amit Mishra tested positive.
Rajiv Shukla, vice-president of the BCCI, confirmed the news.
"IPL suspended for this season," he said as quoted by ANI.
BCCI was under pressure to act
There was criticism over the BCCI continuing with the tournament despite the health crisis in India due to the surge in Covid-19 cases. Over three lakh cases have been reported on each of the last 10 days across the country.
“Situation is getting very tricky now. We are completely shocked by positive cases in KKR camp. How and when that happened is yet to be ascertained. These KKR players must have met others and so is CSK support staff members. Though nothing is discussed officially as yet, but like this we have to postponed IPL 2021 as this menace has gripped the entire nation,” a BCCI official told earlier in the day, as per InsideSport.
With the bio-secure bubble also being breached, a tough decision had to be made. Earlier today, reports emerged about faulty devices being used to track players.
While there is no clarity as to when IPL 2021 will resume, some reports suggest that there could be a week's break before the tournament relocates and restarts.