Cricket fan’s worst nightmare came true when the 14th edition of the Indian Premier League got suspended indefinitely amidst the COVID-19 scare. The 30th match between RCB and KKR was rescheduled as Varun Chakravarthy and Sandeep Warrier tested positive for COVID-19. But things got worse as the list of COVID-19 positive players kept growing, SRH’s Wriddhiman Saha and DC’s Amit Mishra were the latest players to test positive. Many staff members and groundsmen also tested positive across all 8 teams.
The IPL GC and BCCI decided to officially postpone the tournament keeping in mind the safety of all the players, support staff, and the other participants involved in organizing the IPL. The BCCI also ensured a safe and secured passage for all the participants of the tournament.
Now that the first step has been taken of the cancellation and postponement of the IPL, it is the BCCI that has to decide what happens next and when. The tournament completed its first 29 matches out of the 60 matches that were to be played. The BCCI is exploring the September window to complete the remaining 31 matches of the tournament. All the series will be over by then and all the overseas players will be ready for the T20 World Cup. Brijesh Patel, the chairman of the IPL, said “We’ll have to see if it is possible in September. We need to examine the plans of the ICC and other boards.”
But as of now, the BCCI and all the franchisees are focusing on sending their squad members back home. Charter flights have been booked to Mumbai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Ranchi, and Delhi. The BCCI is also coordinating with the foreign Boards on sending their players back amidst the travel ban.
Cricket Australia and the Australian Cricketers’ Association confirmed that they are not willing to uplift the travel ban for people flying in from India, scheduled to run till May 15. However, South African players will be allowed to fly back and will have to be in-home quarantine as per WHO guidelines. The England Cricket Board confirmed that they are in close contact with their players and staff members in India.