IPL 2021 suspended for this season by BCCI after many players test positive

BCCI Vice President Rajeev Shukla has told Indian media that the Indian Premier League’s this years season is suspended with immediate effect.
With Chennai Super Kings bowling coach L Balaji once again testing positive for COVID-19, the team is set to isolate and Wednesday’s game between CSK and Rajasthan Royals is set to be postponed in the national capital. As for the Indian Premier League itself, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is awaiting permission from the government to move the league to Mumbai.

Speaking to ANI, a BCCI official in the know of developments said while the CSK-RR game is under the cloud with Balaji testing positive for COVID-19, the board is also looking to move base to Mumbai keeping in mind the COVID-19 situation in Kolkata and Bengaluru — the next stop.

“As of now, the Delhi game between Mumbai Indians and Sunrisers Hyderabad is on. But tomorrow’s game is likely to get postponed as Balaji has again tested positive for COVID-19. So we have two teams down, Kolkata Knight Riders and CSK.

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“Coming to the league itself, we are looking at moving base to Mumbai, but are awaiting clearance from the Maharashtra government and once that is done, we will be good to go. Should take us another couple of days to get the clearance,” the official explained.

Explaining the reason behind not going ahead with the Kolkata and Bengaluru leg, the official said: “It is better to avoid a situation than to think of a substitute once you land in a problem is all I will say.”

Earlier on Monday, there were COVID-19 cases in two franchises. While two of the members of the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) contingent tested positive, two Kolkata Knight Riders players tested positive — Varun Chakaravarthy and Sandeep Warrier — forcing the BCCI to postpone the KKR-RCB game in Ahmedabad.

Speaking to ANI, a BCCI official confirmed the development in the CSK camp and said: “The contingent has two COVID-19 positive cases. A support staff member has tested positive and a bus cleaner. Cannot give you the name of the support staff. The team’s training session has been cancelled as a precautionary measure,” the official said.

CSK last played a game on Saturday against Mumbai Indians at the Arun Jaitley Stadium in Delhi. The side was slated to square off against Rajasthan Royals on Wednesday.

The BCCI issued a release on the twin cases in KKR and said: “Varun Chakravarthy and Sandeep Warrier were found to be positive in the third round of testing in the last four days. All other team members have tested negative for COVID-19.”

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Both the 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. Meanwhile, the Kolkata Knight Riders have now moved towards a daily testing routine to identify any other possible cases and treat them at the earliest.”