New Delhi: The inevitable has happened: The Indian Premier League's 2021 season has been postponed. The decision was taken by the BCCI after more Covid-19 positive cases sneaked into the IPL bio-bubble on the heels of those which had surfaced on Monday.
The unanimous decision was taken in an emergency meeting and will come into immediate effect.
The Board confirmed that all players will return to their families; earlier in the day, it emerged that SunRisers Hyderabad's Wriddhiman Saha in Delhi and Delhi Capitals' Amit Mishra in Ahmedabad had tested positive.
On Monday, Chennai Super Kings (CSK) bowling coach Laxmipathy Balaji and Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) bowlers Varun Chakravarthy and Sandeep Warrier had tested positive along with the ground staff at the Arun Jaitley Stadium. That forced three teams - KKR, CSK and DC to go into isolation. However, the detection of positive cases on Tuesday made it impossible for the league to continue.
The cricket board had seemingly turned a blind eye to the hundreds of people who were dying daily in the national capital. On the four IPL match days in Delhi, on three days more people died of Covid-10 than the number of runs scored by the competing teams.
On April 28, a total of 344 runs were score in the IPL match in Delhi and 368 people died of Covid in the city. On April 29, 343 runs were scored, and 395 people died. And on May 2, 407 people died of the virus while 385 runs were scored. On the four days on which IPL matches were played in Delhi, 1,582 people died of Covid and 96,202 fresh cases were reported.
The BCCI, however, continued to prefer commerce over the tragedy that was still unfolding before everyone. The heartless BCCI took a very lame excuse that the IPL provided a few hours of relief or entertainment to people in Covid times. People countered this with: "When people in immediate or extended families are dying, and thousands are crying for oxygen to survive and hospital beds for treatment, who will look for entertainment?" Some people saw it as mocking the humongous tragedy.
Finally, when the Covid virus penetrated the IPL bio-bubble and four of the teams' players and support staff returned positive test results the BCCI was forced to postpone the league.
"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 BCCI statement said.
"The BCCI will do everything in its powers to arrange for the secure and safe passage of all the participants in IPL 2021," the statement added.