IPL 2021 Matches Postponed: Having hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 was postponed indefinitely on Tuesday. The decision ends a month-long relatively smooth run for cricket’s most glamorous event. On Wednesday, some players began to reach home even as some overseas players continued to stay in the country. CSK batting coach Mike Hussey, who was one of the personnel to test positive inside the IPL bubble, will also stay out a minimum 10-day stay in India.
The announcement came after Sunrisers Hyderabad’s wicketkeeper-batsman Wriddhiman Saha tested positive for COVID-19 along with Delhi Capitals’ veteran spinner Amit Mishra. Earlier on Monday, Chennai Super Kings bowling coach L Balaji along with Kolkata Knight Riders bowlers Sandeep Warrier and Varun Chakravarthy had also returned positive results. The tournament began on April 9 and ran smoothly for 29 matches. The final was planned for May 30.
Former England captain Mike Atherton doesn’t see a window this year to complete the suspended Indian Premier League. The world’s biggest T20 league was suspended indefinitely on Tuesday after multiple COVID-19 cases were detected in the tournament’s bio-bubble.
“Just don’t see where the gap (in the schedule) is. India come to England for five Test matches in the summer — and that ends around mid-September. Then the T20 World Cup (in October-November), which is supposed to be in India – but who knows, they may have to move that tournament to the UAE,” Atherton told Sky Sports
“It’s obviously quite upsetting that we have to end it, but unfortunately these things happen. There’s a lot of people going through a lot at the moment, and that is probably the safest thing to do. Let everyone at home or in India focus on beating COVID because that’s the most important thing,” said Morris
New Zealand cricketers involved in the now suspended IPL, including captain Kane Williamson, are likely to remain in India at least till May 10 before flying to England for national duty, their players’ union chief said on Wednesday. The remaining players as well as the support staff in various IPL teams and commentators could return home by charter flights arrange by the franchises, New Zealand Cricket Players’ Association head Heath Mills said. Mills is expecting a revision in the travel restrictions for incoming travellers from India by the British government.
Australian Cricketers Association chief executive Todd Greenberg has asked its players to do their “homework” and consider the risks involved before signing overseas T20 deals in the near future as the world grapples with an evolving pandemic. With their country shut for all those flying from India, the suspended IPL’s 40-strong Australian contingent, comprising players, support staff and commentators, will be flown to Maldives before getting a connecting flight for home.
Chennai Super Kings batting coach Michael Hussey will stay back in India to recover from Covid-19 as the Australian players, commentators and support staff are set to fly back (via either the Maldives or Sri Lanka). Hussey returned a second positive test on Tuesday and is now forced to serve a 10 days’ isolation at the team hotel in Delhi.
Australian Cricketers’ Association Chief Executive Todd Greenberg provided an update on Hussey’s medical situation.
“His (Hussey’s) symptoms are relatively mild, so he’s in for a stint of isolation in his hotel for at least 10 days, but his team have got some really good support systems around him, which is good,” Greenberg was quoted as saying by the Sydney Morning Herald.
Ravindra Jadeja has meanwhile reached the safety of his stables.
— Ravindrasinh jadeja (@imjadeja) May 5, 2021
Michael Slater, tweeting angrily from Maldives, said to the Australian Prime Minister earlier today to “take your private jet and come and witness dead bodies on the street!” Now he says he wants a debate with the PM.
I challenge you to a debate anytime PM.
— Michael Slater (@mj_slats) May 5, 2021
Harsha Bhogle heads home.
— Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) May 5, 2021
(Now formerly, even if for 1 match) SRH captain David Warner gets a message from home as overseas players continue scramble to return home.
Some thought that the IPL bio-bubble was “the safest place in India”, but the second Covid wave in India breached this too. BCCI officials have spoken about Varun Chakravarthy’s hospital visit, but some other possible breaches have come to light too.
“Last year we had the IPL held over in the UAE and that was an incredibly well-run tournament,” KKR’s Pat Cummins told Foxsports. “This year, they tried to push it that little step further and have it over here in multiple cities in India. I’m sure looking back they might have tweaked a few things.”
Cricket Australia’s interim chief executive Nick Hockley on Wednesday said that the BCCI is working to arrange a charter flight for IPL’s Australian recruits, who are likely to stay in Maldives or Sri Lanka before heading back home. “What the BCCI is working to do is to move the entire cohort out of India where they will wait until it’s possible to return to Australia,” Hockley told reporters in Sydney.
Michael Slater, who is currently in Maldives, upped the offensive against his country’s PM Scott Morrison on Twitter. Earlier he had slammed the PM Morrison, saying ‘You have got blood PM.’ This was after Australia banned flights from India. Today he demands that the PM take a trip.
Amazing to smoke out the PM on a matter that is a human crisis. The panic, the fear of every Australian in India is real!! How about you take your private jet and come and witness dead bodies on the street!
— Michael Slater (@mj_slats) May 5, 2021
Royal Challengers Bangalore captain Kohli was pictured near his home on Wednesday morning.
— Viral Bhayani (@viralbhayani77) May 5, 2021
Eight of the 11 England players who were part of the now-postponed Indian Premier League, including Jos Buttler and Jonny Bairstow, returned home on Wednesday. Sam Curran, Tom Curran, Sam Billings, Chris Woakes, Moeen Ali and Jason Roy are also back in the UK, according to Sky Sports. The arrival of England skipper Eoin Morgan, Dawid Malan and Chris Jordan from India is expected within the next 48 hours.
The BCCI stands to lose over Rs 2000 crore of the broadcast and sponsorship money earmarked for this year’s Indian Premier League (IPL) which was indefinitely postponed on Tuesday due to COVID-19 cases in its bio-bubble.“We would be losing anything between Rs 2000 to Rs 2500 crore for the midway postponement of this season,” a senior BCCI official told PTI. | READ MORE |
(2/5) CSA supports the decision to put the health and safety interests of all involved in the tournament first and foremost and has made contact with all of the relevant franchises to ensure the expedited travel of all South African players and support staff back to our shores.
— Cricket South Africa (@OfficialCSA) May 4, 2021
“Star India supports BCCI’s decision to postpone IPL 2021. The health and safety of players, staff and everyone involved in the IPL are of paramount importance. We thank the BCCI, IPL Governing Council, players, franchisees and sponsors for their support. We are also indebted to our employees, on-air talent, production, and broadcast crews for trying their best to spread positivity by delivering the broadcast of IPL 2021 to millions of homes in the face of challenging circumstances,” said the official statement.
Cricket Australia and the @ACA_Players understand the decision of the BCCI to indefinitely postpone the 2021 Indian Premier League for the safety and wellbeing of all participants. pic.twitter.com/M612hrnZFo
— Cricket Australia (@CricketAus) May 4, 2021
This year’s T20 World Cup is set to be moved from India to the UAE with the BCCI acknowledging that none of the participating teams would be “comfortable” coming here because “a third wave” of COVID-19 cases is expected at the time of the event.
“The suspension of IPL within four weeks is an indicator that it’s not really safe to host a global event of that magnitude at a time when the country is fighting its worst health crisis in last 70 years. There is a chance of a third wave hitting the Indian shores in November. So while BCCI will remain the hosts, the tournament will probably shift to the UAE,” a senior BCCI source told PTI.