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On Tuesday 04 May, IPL 2021 has been  suspended indefinitely following a rise in cases  Covid-19 cases were reported in its bio-bubble, ending a month-long relatively smooth run for cricket’s most glamorous and cash-rich event in the middle of a raging pandemic.

“The tournament has been suspended indefinitely. We will try to conduct the event in the next available window but this month is unlikely,” league chairman Brijesh Patel said.

The announcement came after Sunrisers Hyderabad’s wicketkeeper-batsman Wriddhiman Saha tested positive for Covid-19 along with Delhi Capitals’ veteran spinner Amit Mishra. Hours after the postponement, CSK batting coach Michael Hussey also tested positive for the dreaded virus.

“…We will take stock if we can find a suitable window later during the year. It could be September but these are all speculations. As of now we are not conducting it any further,” BCCI vice-president Rajiv Shukla said.

On Monday, Chennai Super Kings bowling coach Lakshmipathy Balaji along with Kolkata Knight Riders bowlers Sandeep Warrier and Varun Chakravarthy had also returned positive results.

The spread of infections had led to postponement of two IPL games earlier.

The league organisers also issued a formal statement and said that safety of its players and staff is paramount.

“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,” the statement read.

“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 the stakeholders in mind,” it added.

The IPL said BCCI will do all it can to ensure that players in the event get back to their homes safely. IPL features stars from England, Australia, and New Zealand among other countries.

“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 stated.

“The BCCI will do everything in its powers to arrange for the secure and safe passage of all the participants in IPL 2021.”

The tournament began on April 9 and ran smoothly before KKR’s Covid-19 cases caused the initial jitters on Monday. The tournament final was planned for May 30.

There was cause of concern in Delhi too as a few groundsmen at the Feroz Shah Kotla Stadium tested positive even though DDCA chief Rohan Jaitley asserted that “none of the groundsmen on duty” were among the infected.


Remaining matches in SEPT?

According to Cricbuzz, an official said that the board could look at the September window after England’s tour of India is complete and before the T20 World Cup scheduled in India for October-November.

“A September window is being considered. By then the England-India series would be over and the foreign players would be ready for the T20 World Cup. That small window is being explored,” said a franchise official who is in know.