BCCI Vice-President Rajeev Shukla Clarifies IPL 2021 Not Cancelled, Just Postponed

BCCI President Rajeev Shukla has clarified the stance on the status of IPL 2021. Earlier in the day, the BCCI had to postpone the 14th edition of the marquee T20 league indefinitely after 29 matches as COVID-19 positive cases emerged within the bubble. Meanwhile, Rajeev Shukla stated that IPL 2021 stands postponed for now and not cancelled.

The crisis began unfolding when on Monday, Kolkata Knight Riders’ official Twitter handle announced that Varun Chakravarthy and Sandeep Warrier have tested positive for COVID-19. It forced the authorities to postpone their clash that same day against the Royal Challengers Bangalore in Ahmedabad. It also emerged that Chennai Super Kings’ contingents had also contracted the virus that is rampantly cutting through India.

In an advisory, the BCCI stated: “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 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 wellbeing of all the stakeholders in mind.”

“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 statement read.

Many Australian players left the IPL early as the coronavirus crisis worsened, with Adam Zampa and Kane Richardson choosing to follow AJ Tye home. Rajasthan Royals batsman Liam Livingstone opted to return to England citing “bubble fatigue” after spending much of the last 10 months moving in and out of biosecure environments. Meanwhile, India and Delhi Capitals spin spearhead R. Ashwin cut short his IPL season on April 25 to be with family.

The BCCI now is in conversation with the authorities to ensure the safe travel for the overseas players. “The BCCI will do everything in its powers to arrange for the secure and safe passage of all the participants in IPL 2021. The BCCI would like to thank all the healthcare workers, state associations, players, support staff, franchises, sponsors, partners and all the service providers who have tried to their best to organise IPL 2021 even in these extremely difficult times,” the statement read.

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