The overseas players participating in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 are likely to start returning home from May 5 (Wednesday) after the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) suspended the T20 tournament due to the growing Covid-19 crisis in the country.
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.” The Indian cricket board’s decision came just hours after Sunrisers Hyderabad wicketkeeper Wriddhiman Saha and Delhi Capitals leg-spinner Amit Mishra became the latest additions in the list of players who tested positive for Covid-19 during IPL 2021. Kolkata Knight Riders duo Varun Chakravarthy and Sandeep Warrier, Chennai Super Kings bowling coach L Balaji and a bus cleaner had contracted the virus on Monday (May 3).
The tournament had already lost 5 players – Andrew Tye (Rajasthan Royals), Liam Livingstone (RR), Kane Richardson (Royal Challengers Bangalore), Adam Zampa (RCB) and Ravichandran Ashwin (DC) – who left the IPL bio-bubble citing personal reasons. Several top international cricketers will now be scrambling to return home after the postponement of the world’s biggest T20 league.